In an effort to manage its ongoing energy crisis, South African power utility, Eskom, has announced that it will escalate load shedding over the next week. The nation will experience a rotation between stage 4 and stage 5 load shedding.
The Upcoming Power Outage Schedule
As per Eskom, the load shedding will kick off with stage 5 from 16:00 on Sunday, 28 May, continuing until 05:00 on Monday. Following this, the day will start with stage 4 load shedding from 05:00 until 16:00, after which stage 5 will resume from 16:00 until 05:00 on Tuesday. This cycle is set to repeat daily until further notice.
Here’s what the schedule looks like:
- Sunday, 28 May: Stage 2 until 16:00; Stage 5 from 16:00 to 00:00
- Monday, 29 May: Stage 5 from 00:00 to 05:00; Stage 4 from 05:00 to 16:00; Stage 5 from 16:00 to 00:00
- Tuesday, 30 May: Stage 5 from 00:00 to 05:00; Stage 4 from 05:00 to 16:00; Stage 5 from 16:00 to 00:00
The Power Generation Situation
As of now, 18,144MW of Eskom’s generating capacity is offline due to breakdowns, while 3,427MW is out of service for planned maintenance. Over the past day, a generation unit at each of the Arnot, Camden, Kendal, and Palmiet power stations was restored to service. However, units at the Matla and Tutuka stations were taken offline because of breakdowns.
Delays in restoring service at several power stations, including Arnot, Hendrina, Kendal, Kriel, Lethabo, Matimba, Tutuka, and two units at the Camden power stations are contributing to the ongoing power capacity constraints.
Managing the Energy Crisis
Eskom’s latest winter outlook indicates that the situation aligns with the ‘worst-case scenario’. To avoid moving to stage 8 load shedding, Eskom must keep unplanned outages under 18,000MW. To maintain a ‘best-case’ scenario of stage 3 to stage 5 load shedding, these outages must stay below 15,000MW.
Also, it’s crucial to note that eThekwini resumed full load shedding from 25 May 2023.