There is a high risk of Stage 1 load shedding on Thursday
evening, according to a recent statement released by Eskom.
Rotational load shedding is looming over South Africa once
more. Despite assurances from Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and
Eskom chairman, Jabu Mabuza, the power utility is struggling to keep the lights
on as the country enters its winter months.
Eskom load shedding, Thursday 11 April
Date: 11 April 2019
There is a high risk of Stage 1 rotational loadshedding from 17:00 to 22:00 today, but will only be implemented if absolutely necessary @CityPowerJhb @CityTshwane @City_Ekurhuleni @CityofCT @eThekwiniM @eNCA @ewnupdates @SABCNewsOnline @IOL pic.twitter.com/JEkndLomfx
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) April 11, 2019
Earlier this month, Eskom proposed an intricate contingency plan which would minimise load shedding in the months to come. The strategy, which included emergency boiler repairs, the employment of valuable expertise and a host of other capacity-increasing actions, seems to have hit a severe snag.
On Thursday afternoon, after a prolonged yet tentatively
welcomed silence, Eskom issued a daunting statement:
“There is a high risk of rotational load shedding today from 17:00 to 22:00, but will only be implemented if absolutely necessary. This is as a result of a shortage of capacity due to the loss of generating units at our power stations.”
In an attempt to soften the blow, Eskom went on to explain that the country had, in fact, been at risk of load shedding for most of the week but that its ‘winter plan’ had managed to keep powerlessness at bay for five days.
Eskom’s empty promises
This is likely to be of little comfort to South Africans who
have been left frustrated and anxious following a particularly dire load
shedding schedule experienced throughout the year. More worrying, is the fact
that Stage 1 load shedding generally precedes more grievous cuts.
In March, it took less than 24 hours for Eskom to ratchet the load shedding schedule up from Stage 1 to Stage 4 – the latter being the worst-case scenario experienced to date. In addition to the disruptions, it’s estimated that the last bout of load shedding cost the South African economy upwards of R20 billion in unserved energy.
Eskom has urged all consumers to use electricity sparingly.
To find out when your area will be affected by blackouts, here’s how to check your daily load shedding schedule.