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Eskom yet to decide load shedding levels for Christmas, but Stage 3 for Christmas Eve

File picture: Nic Bothma

File picture: Nic Bothma

Published Dec 24, 2022


Pretoria - Eskom said Stage 4 blackouts were under way on Friday and Stage 3 load shedding would be implemented on Saturday morning until Sunday 5am.

The announcement was made on Friday after the country endured eight to 12-hour power cuts at Stage 6 earlier in the week.

Regarding Christmas Day, the power utility said it would make arrangements based on the state of the power system.

“Eskom will confirm the loadshedding arrangements for Christmas Day based on the state of the power system,” said spokesperson Sikhonathi Matshantsha in a brief statement on Friday.

South Africa has been gripped with record high levels of load shedding blackouts in 2022.

The year 2022 has seen South Africa gripped with the most load shedding blackouts ever.

South Africa has also experienced record high levels of Stage 6 load shedding more than once, in 2022 alone.

As a means to combat alleged sabotage at some of Eskom’s power stations during this festive season, President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered SANDF troops to man some of the power stations as a deterrent.

Earlier, IOL sent queries to Eskom about whether they had plans to mitigate the higher stages of load shedding during the Christmas period, and how they would do that. The power utility did not respond.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose department is responsible for Eskom, was sent queries about plans to mitigate load shedding on Christmas Day.

Gordhan picked up the phone, listened to some of the questions, refused to speak and passed his phone to chief of staff Nthabiseng Borotho, who asked that queries be emailed to her.

Called back later, Borotho said she and Gordhan were in a meeting, but was she unsure if they would be able to respond by 5pm because the query was sent at 10.18am on Thursday.

She had not responded at the time of publication.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Radio702, an energy analyst Hartmut Winkler predicted that Christmas Day may be free of power cuts as demand for electricity usually reduces on the day, with most shops and factories being closed.

Recently, Eskom's group chief executive Andre De Ruyter also announced that he had resigned but is only expected to leave office in March next year.

Some quarters had been calling for De Ruyter to vacate office after he failed to end load shedding.