Morupule Power Station, between Palapye and Serowe, Botswana. Image: Creative Commons.

‘Countrywide blackout’: Botswana went dark on Monday

Botswana implemented load shedding after it suffered a nationwide blackout. Investigations into the grid disturbance are ongoing.


Morupule Power Station, between Palapye and Serowe, Botswana. Image: Creative Commons.

Botswana implemented load shedding on Monday, 8 May, after a grid disturbance occurred in the early hours of the morning.

READ: Ex-ANC MP sentenced to prison for stealing cows in North West

Botswana Power Corporation investigating the cause of the grid disturbance

The Botswana Power Corporation said the grid disturbance resulted in an outage at both the Morupule A and B Power plants, which supply electricity to most of the country.  The disturbance also affected the Transmission Power Line that connects Botswana and South Africa.

The disturbance led to a “countrywide blackout experienced at 00:13. We are currently undertaking investigations to determine the cause of the grid disturbance,” said the neighbouring power utility in a statement on Monday.

READ: KwaZulu-Natal on high alert as disruptive rainfall warning issued

The BPC said that at the time of the grid disturbance, it was generating 505MW of electricity and exporting 60MW.

Occasional load shedding in 2022

In 2022, Botswana implemented occasional load shedding for the first time since 2015. It also offered to sell Eskom off-peak electricity last year.

READ: SCOPA to meet SAPS, Hawks, SIU over de Ruyter allegations on Tuesday

Despite the offer, Botswana still imports some electricity from South Africa and Zambia due to performance issues at Morupule.

In South Africa, Stage 6 load shedding was implemented until further notice on Sunday, 7 May, due to the breakdown of some generating units and the delay in returning other units to service. The elevated power cuts are expected to last for the entire week.

READ: DA calls for investigation into Bheki Cele’s alleged misleading of Parliament