Eskom shifts to Stage 1: here’s why it’s not over

Load Shedding

Power utility Eskom is expected to deescalate from stage 2 load shedding to stage 1 at 4 pm this afternoon.

Eskom will limit the amount of rolling blackouts in the evenings in an attempt to reduce the impact the lack of power has on the economy.

The national power utility had earlier this week implemented level 2 since Monday.

Stage 2 load shedding continued from Monday through to Thursday from 4 pm till midnight.

“Due to the persistent shortage of generation capacity, stage 2 load shedding will continue tonight and Thursday. To the extent possible. Eskom will endeavor to limit load shedding to night time to have minimal impact on the economy and population.”

Now Eskom notes Stage 1 will follow this afternoon.

Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer has highlighted a grim but realistic outlook on the time frame residents should set aside until there’s light at the end of rolling blackouts.

He said the country can expect to experience load shedding for another 12 to 18 months.

Eskom has recruited a new board and quickly secured more generation capacity in an attempt to remedy the energy crisis.

Lack of adequate skills at Eskom from some contractors, finding the balance between demand and supply of electricity, appropriate experience, a number of consecutive breakdowns and electrical capacity remain as some of the ongoing challenges causing outages.

Cooling temperatures not performing ensure the loss of much-needed capacity, he said.

The CEO apologized to the public for ongoing outages before restating that load shedding was implemented only as a last resort.

“It is to protect the integrity of the system,” Oberholzer said.

Eskom has already spent around R7.7 billion to date.

“Looking at outlook and finalizing what the year end focus will be, we cannot provide an exact estimate but do know we’re over budget.”

“We’re going to overspend.”

He said Eskom was in an challenging situation were there was inadequate capacity to meet demands of the country.

“We have an old system that has been abused for 43 years,” confirming that the system had become unreliable.

A system operator will continue to determine what capacity is required and when load shedding should be implemented.

“As long as the country does not have sufficient capacity, there will be imminent load shedding.”

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