Brief Respite from Load Shedding Expected: A Glimpse at Eskom’s Upcoming Schedule

As we navigate the power landscape, South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, Eskom, foresees a temporary suspension of load shedding on Sunday, before reinstating stage 4 early next week.

Schedule in a Nutshell

Eskom anticipates stage 4 load shedding to persist until 16h00 on Thursday (1 June), which will then escalate to stage 6, as initially planned. Moving into the weekend, load shedding is projected to recede to stage 4 on Friday and further reduce to stage 2 on Saturday. Early risers will relish a break from load shedding at 05h00 on Sunday. However, brace yourself for a return to stage 4 by late afternoon.

Diving Deeper: A Look at the Detailed Schedule

Here’s the comprehensive breakdown:

Thursday, 1 June

  • Stage 4: Until 16h00
  • Stage 6: From 16h00 to 00h00

Friday, 2 June

  • Stage 6: From 00h00 to 05h00
  • Stage 4: From 05h00 to 00h00

Saturday, 3 June

  • Stage 4: From 00h00 to 05h00
  • Stage 2: From 05h00 to 16h00
  • Stage 4: From 16h00 to 00h00

Sunday, 4 June

  • Stage 4: From 00h00 to 05h00
  • Suspended: From 05h00 to 16h00
  • Stage 4: From 16h00 to 00h00

The Current Power Supply Scenario

This week witnessed an escalation to stage 6 load shedding, driven by Eskom’s inability to timely resuscitate its generating units. Currently, breakdowns have led to a staggering 17,863MW of generating capacity being off-grid, with another 2,437MW out for scheduled maintenance.

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However, within the past day, Eskom managed to revive one generating unit each at Kendal and Tutuka power stations. Unfortunately, this minor victory was offset by the forced removal of units at Duvha and Arnot power stations due to malfunctions.

Ongoing delays in the restoration of multiple power stations continue to exacerbate the existing capacity constraints. However, Eskom maintains its commitment to reviving as many of these units as possible in the upcoming days.

The ‘Worst-Case’ Scenario Looms

Alarmingly, Eskom’s unplanned outages are hovering dangerously close to the projected ‘worst-case’ scenario of 18,000MW, which could result in an unprecedented stage 8 load shedding.

To avoid such a situation, Eskom needs to cap outages below 15,000MW, thereby maintaining a ‘base case’ scenario of stages 3 to 5 load shedding in the forthcoming months. As of now, this target appears challenging.

The Onset of Winter

June 1st ushers in South Africa’s winter months, during which Eskom foresees a spike in demand up to 33,000MW, or even higher, due to colder weather. Recent demand figures are already aligning with these projections, with Wednesday (31 May) recording a demand of 32,726MW.

As we brace ourselves for the imminent winter strain, both Eskom and the government urge South Africans to actively participate in stabilising the grid by reducing their electricity consumption. While long-term solutions to the power crisis are in the works, a quick-fix solution to the impending winter challenges remains elusive.

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