Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has warned South Africans to prepare for an exceptionally difficult winter with higher stages of load shedding. Speaking in Pretoria, Ramokgopa said that Eskom needed about 66,000 megawatts to bridge the gap between demand and supply. He warned that the unpredictability of the country’s fragile grid, coupled with high demand, was undermining Eskom’s ability to provide a consistent supply of energy. The Minister said that efforts are being made to avoid a worst-case scenario, ensuring that the power outages do not surpass stage 6.
As households and businesses brace for cold weather and an unstable power supply, they have been urged to reduce their electricity usage drastically. Despite measures taken since the declaration of the national state of disaster on electricity in February, Ramokgopa warned that the worst is yet to come, and higher stages of load shedding would be experienced during winter unless demand was reduced, and Eskom ramped up its generation capacity.
The Minister highlighted the unreliability of the generation units, with South Africa moving from no load shedding to stage 5 within the space of less than 48 hours. He called for measures to bring down demand without compromising daily requirements as South Africans go about their daily lives.
As the winter months approach, South Africans will have to be vigilant and do their part in conserving electricity to avoid prolonged periods of darkness and cold. The Minister has promised to communicate any changes in load shedding stages to the public.