In a statement released by Eskom, the power utility announced that load shedding will be eased for the week ahead, thanks to a slight improvement in the available generation capacity. Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 16h00 this afternoon as planned and run until 05h00 on Monday, thereafter, stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 05h00 to 16h00. The pattern of stage 4 load shedding overnight and stage 3 during the day will continue until further notice.
If the load shedding schedules continue as planned, this will bring an end to one of the longest streaks of stage 6 load shedding experienced this year. However, the grid remains under severe strain, and the situation could change at very short notice as has been the case for the entirety of 2023 so far.
Government under pressure
As Eskom continues to grapple with its unpredictable systems, the government is under pressure to resolve the load shedding crisis with few options remaining. Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has promised to end load shedding, after the ANC and various subcommittees have backed his ideas to extend the life of Eskom’s coal power stations. However, the minister remains without the necessary authority to execute these plans, leaving them in limbo.
No end in sight
Meanwhile, time has effectively run out for the country’s grid to find some stability ahead of the coming winter months, with multiple warnings that load shedding will only get worse. Ramokgopa has also doused hopes for any resolution to the crisis in 2023, saying there is no end in sight. Economists at Nedbank have also expressed this sentiment, saying this week that the slow progress at Eskom and the apparent political infighting between ministers in charge of the company means that load shedding is likely to continue for the next three to five years.
Although load shedding will be eased for the week ahead, the overall situation remains volatile. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing updates on any new developments. In the meantime, we urge all citizens to stay informed and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact of load shedding on their daily lives. Stay safe and stay tuned for further updates.