Eskom responds to Stage 16 load-shedding schedules for South Africa: A Plan of Action

A collaborative effort between Eskom, its System Operator, and industry stakeholders is underway to revise the guidelines for South Africa’s load-shedding stages. Acting head of generation at Eskom, Thomas Conradie, shared this information while providing updates on the progress of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s National Energy Crisis Committee. Although Conradie did not confirm if the schedule would extend to stage 16, he acknowledged that the workgroup is developing a plan for higher stages of rotational power cuts.

Load-shedding in South Africa is regulated by the South African Bureau of Standards document, NRS048–9:2019, which outlines the quality of the country’s electricity supply. Part 9, titled “National Code of Practice: Load reduction practices, system restoration practices, and critical load and essential load requirements under system emergencies,” governs the load-shedding schedule. Conradie stated that the aim is to have a more systematic approach to load-shedding, should it be required beyond stage 8.

The Eskom System Operator, led by General Manager Isabel Fick, is responsible for monitoring the stability of South Africa’s grid and determining the level of load-shedding. It issues orders for its clients, such as local municipalities and Eskom itself, to reduce their power demand as needed. These clients then implement the power cuts according to their load-shedding schedules, developed in line with NRS 048-9. Fick previously informed the media that she and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) are working on developing load-shedding schedules beyond stage 8. The draft of the document superseding the current NRS 048–9 is underway and will take some time to be finalized, after which Nersa must adopt it. Despite MyBroadband’s attempt to seek clarification from Eskom on Conradie’s comments, the state-owned power utility did not provide further information by the time of publication.