Power utility, Eskom, has reduced load shedding to stage 4, indicating some improvement in their operations. However, the frequency of load shedding remains high, suggesting that the issue is not fully resolved. The latest system update from the company paints a worrisome picture for the coming year.

By Staff Reporter

Eskom implemented a reduction in load shedding to stage 4, which commenced at 14h00 on Friday, as a result of decreased demand and the restoration of pumped storage dam levels to their normal state.

The current schedule entails the continuation of stage 4 load shedding until 05h00 on Saturday. Subsequently, stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 05h00 on Saturday until 16h00, after which stage 4 load shedding will resume until 05h00 on Sunday. This recurring pattern will be replicated on Sunday.

The schedule for load shedding is as follows: On Friday, 15 September, Stage 5 will be held until 14h00, followed by Stage 4 from 14h00 to 00h00. On Saturday, 16 September, Stage 4 will take place from 00h00 to 05h00, followed by Stage 2 from 05h00 to 16h00, and then Stage 4 again from 16h00 to 00h00. On Sunday, 17 September, Stage 4 will occur from 00h00 to 05h00, followed by Stage 2 from 05h00 to 16h00, and then Stage 4 again from 16h00 to 00h00.

The reduction in load shedding occurred subsequent to the power utility’s downgrade to stage 5 in the early hours of Friday morning. This development follows a week characterised by the implementation of stage 6 load shedding.

The severity of load shedding escalated this week as a result of colder weather conditions leading to increased demand, additional breakdowns in power generation, delays in restoring units to the grid, and Eskom’s decision to intensify its scheduled maintenance activities.

During a meeting held on Wednesday, the Cabinet received reassurances that the current high levels of load-shedding are a temporary measure that will yield long-term benefits for the nation. Ministers have adopted the slogan “short-term pain, for long-term gain” to emphasise this perspective.

Since its implementation in 2007, load shedding has become an enduring reality for South Africans, with the current state of permanent load shedding having persisted for over a year.

According to a report from businesstech.co.za, although Eskom seems to be out of immediate trouble, the frequency of load shedding remains high, and the group’s recent system update indicates a concerning outlook for the upcoming year.

The latest report from Eskom, as reported by businesstech.co.za, indicates a significant deficit in electricity generation. The report highlights that over the next 52 weeks, there is a projected shortfall of more than 2,000MW (equivalent to 2 stages of load shedding) at the very least.

The system report includes a 52-week projection that is categorized using a coding system based on the anticipated supply and demand. The designation of Code Green signifies that the group expects sufficient generation to meet demand and maintain reserves. Code Yellow indicates a slight deficit in reserves (less than 1,000MW) but an adequate supply to meet demand. Code Orange predicts a shortfall of 1,000MW to 2,000MW, resulting in a clear failure to maintain reserves and potentially meet demand. Code Red is assigned when there is a shortfall exceeding 2,000MW, indicating that both reserves and demand will not be met, as stated by the group.

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