Stage 5 loadshedding returns

  • Eskom has announced that Stage 5 loadshedding is set to return on Tuesday evening, and continue into Wednesday.
  • The utility cites multiple breakdowns and increased after-Easter weekend demand as the culprit.
  • Eskom says that it can’t rule out the implementing of higher loadshedding stages at short notice.

After an Easter weekend with a spotty loadshedding schedule in which several different stages were implemented at different times, Eskom has laid out its next schedule for the rest of the week, with Stage 5 set to return on Tuesday evening.

“Stage 3 loadshedding will be implemented from 17:00 this afternoon until 16:00 on Tuesday. Thereafter, Stage 5 loadshedding will be implemented from 16:00 until 05:00 on Wednesday followed by Stage 3 loadshedding until 16:00,” the power utility says in an official alert published to Twitter.

So it seems the rotation will be between Stage 3 during the day and Stage 5 in the evening, at least from Wednesday even though Eskom has not indicated that these two stages will remain.

The culprit for Stage 5 returning, according to Eskom, are breakdowns, which coupled with planned maintenance, have removed 22 155MW of available power from the grid.

Eskom says that delays in returning generating units at Camden, Lethabo, Kriel, Medupi, and Tutuka power stations have contributed to the capacity contraints. Meanwhile two generating units at Kriel and one at Camden were taken offline for repairs.

The utility is also expecting the increased demand after Easter to strain the system further. This demand “may require an increase in a stage of loadshedding at short notice,” Eskom says. This means that, depending on the time, we could see Eskom return to Stage 6 loadshedding.

Heightened loadshedding comes on the heels of a series of controversial moves by the government in its Eskom operations. Last week Eskom was granted, and then ungranted an exemption to not disclose irregular expenditure or fruitless and wasteful expenditure for three years.

The same day saw the South African government withdraw the National State of Disaster declared during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address in February. This move meant that most, if not all the changes to Eskom and legislation around generating more power to end loadshedding would be scrapped immediately.

Now after a long weekend with on-and-off loadshedding, South Africans are once again left in the lurch as it comes to what exactly is being done about the outages.

[Image – Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash]


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