Load shedding for SATURDAY: Here's the UPDATED schedule

Load shedding for SATURDAY: Here’s the UPDATED schedule Images: Stock/Canva

Dark reality? Brace for Stage 8 load shedding

Energy experts and analysts have warned that Stage 8 load shedding could be implemented at short notice. Here’s why…

Load shedding for SATURDAY: Here's the UPDATED schedule

Load shedding for SATURDAY: Here’s the UPDATED schedule Images: Stock/Canva

South Africa has been placed under Stage 6 load shedding since Sunday evening 19 February until further notice due to the breakdown of eight generation units.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said the power utility is working hard to restore generating capacity, and hopes to de-escalate stage 6 load shedding from the Wednesday peak. Thereafter stages will be downgraded to Stage 4 and hopefully Stage 3 by the weekend.

ALSO READ: Stage 6 load shedding on MONDAY: Here’s the UPDATED schedule

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Why experts think Stage 8 load shedding might be looming large

Energy experts and analysts have however sounded the alarm over the possibility of Stage 8 power cuts. Given the high number of breakdowns, Eskom itself has warned further changes to load shedding stages could happen at short notice.

Isabel Fick, general manager for the Eskom System Operator unit, told My Broadband on Monday that they are currently working with the energy regulator to prepare load shedding schedules beyond Stage 8.

This correlates with Eskom saying that it is in the process of reviewing its documentation and schedules which govern stages of load shedding.

The power utility said that the review process is underway and is currently sitting with regulators and industry, and it will look at different stages of power cuts and contingencies for Stage 8, according to BusinessTech.

The Eskom System Operator is the entity that monitors South Africa’s grid stability and determine the level of load shedding.

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Disruption in diesel supply could lead to Stage 8

According to the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), the country’s electricity scenario is dire and the country could be plunged into higher levels of power cuts if Eskom’s diesel supplies run out.

load shedding State of Disaster
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter (left). The ongoing load shedding crisis has been declared a National State of Disaster. Images: Stock/Twitter/@eskom_sa.

“The domestic electricity situation remains dire with a return of (night-time) stage 6 load shedding over the weekend amid significant unexpected breakdowns and the need to replenish emergency generation reserves,” it was quoted as saying by My Broadband.

De Ruyter told BusinessTech that the open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) are currently being run hard, which is why stage 6 load shedding is required.

The power utility’s CEO added the there were some diesel constraints over the weekend which caused issues. According to De Ruyter, the funding issues around diesel have also resolved with the backing of National Treasury.

Last week, the National Energy Crisis Committee said the power utility’s diesel supplies are ample for the time being although any disruption in diesel supply could immediately cause Stage 8 power cuts.

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What does Eskom say?

De Ruyter told BusinessTech that the risk of Stage 8 load shedding is always present, given the high levels of unreliability inherent to the grid and it being part of the contingency in place.

For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available below: