eskom load shedding

Photo: Envato Elements

Load shedding: SA ‘on the brink’ as Eskom, Joburg prepare for the worst

The power could well go out before the end of Wednesday, as both Eskom and City Power have accepted that there’s now a serious chance of load shedding.

eskom load shedding

Photo: Envato Elements

The chances of South Africa being hit by another round of load shedding have increased this week, as statements from both Eskom and Johannesburg’s City Power suggest that the lights may go off over the course of the next few days.

Chances of load shedding on Wednesday 6 November

Rolling blackouts made a disastrous return in October, seven months after SA’s last round of power cuts. Just a few weeks after this debacle, fresh concerns have been raised over Eskom’s generational output. More than 12 000 MW of power has gone offline on Wednesday, higher than the 9 500 MW which prompted a warning from the power utility on Tuesday.

Eskom’s wording on the situation has changed dramatically, as well. They’ve gone from downplaying the threat of load shedding to accepting it’s likelihood within 24 hours. Through an official statement released earlier in the day, the firm explained that depleted water and diesel reserves are also contributing to the uncertainty:

“While some generational units have returned from maintenance, they aren’t sufficient enough to meet current demand. Since Monday, we’ve increased our use of pumped storage water and diesel generators to try and keep the lights on. But this increased useage has seen these reserves decline.”

“A concert effort is being made to replenish both the diesel and water stocks. The probability of load shedding remains in place, and any shift on the system could result in load shedding being implemented at short notice. Our Emergency Response Command Centre is monitoring all developments.”

Eskom statement on possible load shedding

City Power prepare residents for the worst on social media

It’s more bad news for the state-owned entity that just can’t turn itself around. Last week, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said it was time to get tough on Eskom, and refused to grant any more funds to them until there was “noticeable progress” in the efforts to cut costs and slash their enormous R450 billion debt.

Meanwhile, City Power – the official supplier of Johannesburg’s electricity – have pleaded with locals to “use electricity sparingly”. They copied the Eskom statement into an email and shared the document on Wednesday. You can read the contents of the message below: