South Africa’s power crisis appears to be worsening as the country experienced load-shedding of 7,045MW despite being in stage 6, which requires a shedding of only 6,000MW, according to Eskom’s website.
The power utility, however, claims that the country is still in stage 6 of load-shedding, despite the figures indicating otherwise. The discrepancy led to concerns among South Africans, prompting Caxton Local Media to seek clarification from Eskom.
In a tweet, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha confirmed that 7,045MW was shed as of 19:15 the previous night. When asked about rumours that the country had reached stage 7, Mantshantsha explained that Eskom declares the stage of load-shedding upfront and that it could be any amount in the range declared.
He further explained that Eskom follows up with the confirmation of the amount of load-shedding implemented at the highest demand period. Eskom’s current contingency plans make provision for eight load-shedding stages, which means residents could face power outages up to six times a day for 12-14 hours, depending on the schedule.
However, the plans are being revised, and there is speculation that the plan could include load-shedding stages beyond stage 8. During an update on current system challenges, outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said Eskom hoped to lower power cuts to stage 4 from Thursday, but this has yet to be confirmed.
The Citizen reports that if stage 7 is implemented, power cuts will be scheduled over four days for four hours at a time.