- A new week means a new loadshedding schedule as Eskom returns to Stage 4 and Stage 5.
- As per the power utility, the day will see Stage 4 loadshedding implemented, which will be increased to Stage 5 in the evening.
- The schedule will keep until further notice, but the utility warns the public that its fleet is unreliable and changes can occur without much warning.
The holidays ended early for South Africans this year as Eskom plunged the country into Stage 6 loadshedding not two weeks into 2023. The state-owned and operated utility blamed the high-level electricity outages on wide-ranging breakdowns among its fleet of power stations.
On Monday afternoon Eskom announced that the loadshedding stage would be decreasing slightly, from Stage 6 to Stage 4 during the day and Stage 5 during the evening. This after it managed to procure 50 million litres of diesel on 6th January, the utility said in a Twitter post.
The diesel, it says, will be used sparingly to limit the impact of power cuts during the day.
As it currently stands, the rolling power cuts will be in two phases throughout the day until further notice:
- From 05:00 to 16:00, it will be Stage 4 loadshedding,
- and from 16:00 to 05:00 it will be Stage 5 loadshedding.
Accompanied by the announcement of slightly reduced outages, Eskom issues a warning to the public that “there is a high degree of uncertainty associated with this and that these changes will only be possible in their entirety if the units return to service as planned.”
On 11th January, 11 of Eskom’s generating units faltered, owing to the implementation of Stage 6 loadshedding. As of Monday, a generating unit at each of the Kendal, Majuba and Tutuka power stations have returned to service.
In total, Eskom is expecting 14 generating units to return to service this week.
Despite the small relief of reduced loadshedding, Eskom says that its fleet of coal power stations is “unreliable” and changes in the stage of loadshedding can occur at short notice. Near the end of last year, Eskom gave just half an hour’s notice before pushing the country to Stage 6.
As the electricity crisis in the country reaches a new zenith, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Eskom’s board yesterday after urgently cancelling a trip to the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
This meeting prompted the company’s executives to cancel a planned media briefing that was to be held on Monday. It said that a new time and date for the briefing would be confirmed once meetings with the President were concluded.