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Stage 6 load shedding: What is it and how will it affect us if it is implemented?

File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 12, 2022


Cape Town - Load shedding is back and we are once again scrambling to charge our devices and find alternative sources of power.

Earlier this week, Eskom announced that if it runs out of diesel and water, the country can reach up to stage 6 of load shedding.

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The power utility announced its implementation of stage 4 load shedding shortly after 7am on Wednesday.

In a media briefing on Wednesday morning, Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said it was “critically important” to balance emergency resources to avoid a worse situation.

He said to avoid reaching stage 6 load shedding and responsibly use the limited resources, Eskom decided to implement stage 4 load shedding earlier this week.

What is stage 6 load shedding and how will it affect us?

Stage 6 load shedding means shedding 6000 MW. Stage 6 doubles the frequency of stage 3. This means you could be affected 18 times for four days for up to four-and-a-half hours at a time. Some South Africans can also expect load shedding 18 times over eight days for about two hours at a time.

Are there any alternatives that can help you get through load shedding?

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Candles are our original go-to for load shedding. You can find a pack of six candles for about R20 or just over R200 for a pack of 36, depending on your needs.

Solar lights

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As the sun will be around for the next few billion years or so, solar might be another way to go. Solar lights harvest and absorb the sun’s power, giving you much-needed light. Solar lights cost about R300.

Gas stoves

When load shedding first hit in 2008, many South Africans rushed to buy gas stoves (the portable camping ones, not the ridiculously expensive ones). If you don’t have one, it would be useful to buy one. Expect to spend from about R500 for a small gas stove.

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A UPS (uninterrupted power supply) will come in handy if you find yourself in need of internet connection when the power goes off. You can expect to spend from about R1 500 for a decent UPS.

Small portable generators

Generators are expensive but it is worth getting if you are able to afford it. A small generator can cost you about R2 000 and they can go up to about R10 000, depending on the size and the wattage value.


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