EXPLAINED: If Eskom implements a higher stage of load shedding, this is what it could mean

Power outages are becoming more burdensome on South Africans and our economy. Picture: SEDAT SUNA/ EPA

Power outages are becoming more burdensome on South Africans and our economy. Picture: SEDAT SUNA/ EPA

Published Dec 9, 2022


Durban - Eskom announced the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding on Wednesday.

It said it was due to breakdowns of two generating units at Grootvlei power station, as well as a unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Kendal, Kriel and Tutuka power stations.

In addition, two units at Arnot, a unit each at Camden, Kendal and Kriel power stations have been delayed in returning to service.

Reacting to the announcement, energy experts warned fellow South Africans to brace for higher stages being implemented at a moment's notice.

Speaking to IOL, Ted Blom said Stage 8 is very possible.

"Given (the) Koeberg (situation), this will lead to Stage 7 automatically unless a miracle happens. There is no diesel cushion to break the free fall. Only God can save us," he said.

Picture: Eskom

But what does a move to a higher stage of load shedding mean?

According to energy analyst, Lungile Mashele, this means South Africa should brace for being without electricity for between 12 to 14 hours per day.

She said, comparing the country’s power crisis to that of Zimbabwe’s, it was a testament of how bad things have become not just at Eskom, but in SA.

Speaking to eNCA, she said at Stage 6, the country was without electricity for up to 10 to 12 hours per day.

"We can anticipate that at Stage 8 we will not have electricity for about 12 to 14 hours. I hate making this comparison, but if you look at what is happening in Zimbabwe currently, they have no electricity for around 19 hours, but theirs is not on a rotational basis," she said.

In an interview with SABC, Sampson Mamphweli said Eskom's power stations broke down at any time and if there were further issues, higher stages of load shedding would take effect.

Eskom confirmed the outage of Koeberg Unit 1 has been delayed to this afternoon to get some time to stabilise the system.

The unit was meant to undergo refuelling and maintenance starting this week.

Currently, Stage 6 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 5am on Friday before moving to Stage 5 until 5am on Saturday.

Picture: Eskom