Eskom’s winter loadshedding schedule a sigh of relief

  • Eskom’s new CEO Dan Marokane says that the utility expects Stage 2 loadshedding at most during the winter months.
  • This shows a significant improvement over the same time last year, when Eskom warned about Stage 8 loadshedding.
  • However, there is still room for improvement and in “extreme cases” the utility could go to Stage 5 on occasion.

On the milestone of Eskom reaching 30 days without loadshedding, the utility’s chief executive Dan Marokane issued a state of the business ahead of winter that was a far cry from the one issued in 2023.

“For winter 2024, the likely scenario from our assumptions is that loadshedding will be maintained at Stage 2 at most,” he told the media at the briefing on Friday. This marks a significant improvement in Eskom’s generation capacity compared to the same time last year, when the utility was warning South Africans that it could see Stage 8 loadshedding during the winter months.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but it’s a trend that is encouraging given the investments that have gone into the generation recovery plan,” said Marokane. He added that in “extreme cases” where availability of power was really constrained, there could be dips into Stage 5 “occasionally” during the winter months.

“But we really think that on the basis of what we see, the performance of the fleet, loadshedding will stay within Stage 2 from our planning perspective.”

The executive said that since the winter of 2023, Eskom’s recovery interventions have started to show results. This includes the decrease of unplanned trips of generating units at its power stations by just under 20 percent, Marokane explained.

Overall, the energy availability factor – the amount of electricity that the utility can generate against the demand – has improved by 10 percent over the past year, from 51 percent to 61 percent now. The CEO attributed this to a renewed focus on maintaining Eskom’s generating units, making them reliable and less prone to breakdowns.

He added that work will continue to be done to improve the utility’s generation through winter, which includes the targeting of a reduction in unplanned losses by a further 1.7GW or 1 700MW (around a single stage of loadshedding).

He added that Eskom will be looking to a launch a demand-side energy savings campaign in May ahead of winter so that demand can remain in manageable levels.

“We can begin to model what good looks like, and for our staff to yearn for more,” said Marokane.

“What has transpired here is a culmination of interventions started a year ago. It is important we build on this, and move towards doing it as routine.”


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