Cape Town – Eskom is reportedly preparing load shedding schedules beyond stage 8.
For the past two weeks, South Africans have been left in the dark for up to four hours a day as Eskom implemented various stages of load shedding due to broke down of generation units and planned maintenance.
On Thursday, Eskom announced that it will be implementing stage 4 which will be lowered to stage 3 on Saturday.
The power utility has admitted it is working with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to prepare a blackout schedule beyond stage 8, reported eNCA.
Speaking to the news broadcaster, Energy analyst Ruse Moleshe said that on stage 8, the country is looking at more than 12 hours (rotated hours) of load shedding and the situation would be severe.
She said that large industrial users would be asked to reduce their capacity, adding that “it would be terrible”.
“What the higher stages of load-shedding mean is that in terms of the supply of electricity, there is not enough capacity to meet the demand and therefore there will be higher stages,” she said.
“For Stage 8, for instance, it is about 8,000 megawatts that will not be available and that is the size of more than three countries in Southern Africa and the hours will definitely be higher, more than 12 hours of load-shedding.”
Asked about the NASA guidelines for stage 8 to 16, Ruse said those will be a mechanism to manage and prepare for any eventuality that could happen.
“Because if the system were to go totally blackout, that would mean two week or more of load shedding and there would not be a warning. So generally Eskom will look at emergency measures that are in place to be able to assist with that,” said Moleshe.
Eskom has on a number of occasions stressed that stage 8 and higher stages are not anticipated at this stage, reported BusinessTech.
However, the power utility said that it is reviewing its documentation and schedules that govern the stage of load shedding to prepare for if the country hits stage 8.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe