Rugby World Cup ends and loadshedding returns

  • Less than 24 hours after the Springboks won the 2023 Rugby World Cup, loadshedding returns to the country.
  • Eskom has implemented Stage 2 and Stage 3 this week, as the power utility looks to build its energy reserves to cope with a prolonged cold front.
  • No timeframe has been mentioned on the end of this new bout of loadshedding.

After Siya Kolisi and the Springboks lifted the Web Ellis trophy at the weekend following a thrilling final against the All Blacks on Saturday evening, many South Africans hoped that the lack of rolling blackouts would continue, but less than 24 hours after the match in Paris, loadshedding returned.

It marks the end of nine consecutive days of power generation from Eskom, as loadshedding returns not as the result of a loss in generating capacity, but instead in a preemptive move from the power utility.

To that end, in a power alert shared on X (formerly Twitter), Eskom confirmed that loadshedding returns in order to, “replenish emergency reserves ahead of the anticipated cold weather that will increase demand for electricity over the next few days.”

As for the stages of loadshedding that will not be implemented. On Sunday, a mix of Stage 2 and Stage 3 were in effect. For this week, Stage 2 will be implemented from 05:00 in the morning until 16:00 in the evening, thereafter Stage 3 will be implemented from 16:00 until 05:00 the following morning.

Looking at the current status of breakdowns, at the time of writing, they sit at 16 150MW, while 5 950MW is unavailable due to planned maintenance.

“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes to loadshedding should it be required,” it added.

With it being unclear how long this latest spate of loadshedding will last, the return of blackouts so quickly after the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup will do little to convince conspiracy theorists that the tournament and positive public sentiment associated with the Springboks’ performances were the only reason the lights stayed on for a nine-day stint.

With President Cyril Ramaphosa set to address the nation at 20:00 this evening, many are hoping for the announcement of a much-needed public holiday, but perhaps we will get a crucial update regarding the country’s energy crisis too.

[Image – Photo by Art Wall – Kittenprint on Unsplash]


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