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Here’s how many more days of load-shedding we may have this winter

Eskom's planning indicates in a worst case scenario there will be 104 days of load-shedding in winter. Stock photo.
Eskom's planning indicates in a worst case scenario there will be 104 days of load-shedding in winter. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/beercrafter

The number of days SA is expected to be in the dark during winter this year has been increased to 104.

This is according to Eskom’s head of transmission Segomoco Scheppers, who was updating the country on its operational performance on Wednesday.

Scheppers said the power utility’s worst case scenario estimate indicates that SA will be in the dark for more days than initially expected. 

Previously, he said the power utility expects between 37 and 101 days of load-shedding during winter. 

Since January there have been 32 days of load-shedding. This is six days more than the 26 days during the same period last year.

Will load-shedding be the ‘new norm’?

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter insists that blackouts cannot be the new normal.

“We should not accept load-shedding and the lack of generation capacity as the new normal. While it is been going on for 14 years , we need to take urgent steps to address load-shedding.”

Apologising to the country for the inconvenience, De Ruyter said they don’t take the blackouts lightly. 

“We have been trying to minimise the impact on national life by restricting the hours during which load-shedding is implemented. We appreciate that load-shedding remains a huge inconvenience and we again extend our apologies. 

“I can give you the assurance that my executives and I are seized with the matter and we are working hard to resolve the issues that are outstanding,” he said. 

Will Eskom be declared a state of disaster?

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan last week dismissed calls to declare Eskom a state of disaster, saying government has not considered it.

There was no need for the declaration because load-shedding was a tool to protect the system from total collapse.

“There should be a distinction between a state of disaster for ‘dramatic effect’ compared to a power system emergency which falls within the purview of the system’s operator. At all times the main imperative is to avoid the total collapse of the grid as occurred in California and more recently in Texas, US.”

There were internal plans to manage the power system which would allow Eskom to implement up to stage 8 load-shedding to protect the grid from total collapse.

“Eskom manages the stability of the grid with load-shedding as a key mechanism to mitigate against collapse. There is no requirement for Eskom or government to declare such an emergency,” said Gordhan.



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