Date: 29 November 2018 By: Jo Robinson
In a 26 November news release, Eskom stated that a low to medium probability of load shedding existed for the rest of the week, even though the system remained “tight and vulnerable”, while continuing to encourage people to use electricity sparingly to ease demand.
Customers are advised to check their load shedding programmes online at the Eskom load shedding website. Eskom say that they will provide regular updates of the power system through all media platforms.
After recently announcing that Stage 8 load shedding was to be instituted, Eskom’s acting chief operating officer, Jan Oberholzer, informed the portfolio committee on public enterprises in Parliament last week that this is unlikely to happen. He said that the latest incidences of load shedding were due to the hot weather, in addition to shortages of fuel and water. He said that no reason existed for load shedding in the near future if supply and consumption were controlled.
Each level of load shedding represents 1 000 MW to be shed from the national load, so Stage 8 requires 8 000 MW to be shed. Oberholzer told the committee that while Eskom was communicating how the levels worked, a misunderstanding had occurred that led to the announcement that Stage 8 would be implemented soon.
While all the possible stages of load shedding are listed on the schedules for Makhado, Musina and Thohoyandou (available to download from Eskom), the public have been told that they would receive announcements of which stages would apply to them and when they would be implemented on or close to the days of their occurrence. As per Oberholzer’s statements to the committee, load shedding is unlikely to exceed levels one to four at this point, and those levels only as and when announced in the media. The public are encouraged to check the schedules for their areas daily and to prepare for load shedding as times are announced very close to the shedding blocks. Remember, although a schedule exists, load shedding will only be implemented once Eskom announces it.
Jo joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2018 pursuing a career in journalism after many years of writing fiction and non-fiction for other sectors.