Stage 6 was an absolute nightmare – but it get’s even darker (pun intended) with the mother of all load shedding stages – Stage 8! According to some reports, Mzansi came perilously close to this phase on Monday – and here’s what it would entail for every South African.
Stage 8 has been compared to ‘Stage 6 on steroids’. If, or even when it does occur someday, the country will have to deal without a total of 48 hours of load shedding spread over just four days. That’s an average of 12 hours a day without power.
If it lasts eight days, then South Africans will have 96 hours of no power during that period of time. It gets even worse, though. In order to balance the grid, some areas would be subjected to more than 12 hours a day of load shedding, depending on how the schedule falls.
The stages are essentially named after how much power can be saved. For example, Stage 4 would allow Eskom to save 4 000 MW of power while Stage 8 allows exactly double that – saving a total of 8000 MW of power in total.
Several industries have had to suffer during the intertwining of Stages 4 and 6. As things stand, the recent load shedding has been eased from its recent peak and we are currently in Stage 5, according to Eskom’s website.
There is hope that the load shedding stages will drop further throughout the week, but our power grid remains extremely vulnerable. Stage 8 may have been avoided this time around – but another catastrophic week of power cuts and unit trips could drop us right back in it.