Power Struggles: Minister Sheds Light on Stage 8 Load-Shedding Concerns

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa speaks out on the future of load-shedding

As South Africans brace themselves for potential Stage 8 load-shedding this winter, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has a more optimistic outlook. During a recent visit to the troubled Kusile power station, Ramokgopa addressed the media and shared his thoughts on the country’s energy situation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ramokgopa does not anticipate significantly higher stages of load-shedding during winter
  • Former Eskom CEO, André de Ruyter, warned of a tough year for load-shedding with at least Stage 6 power cuts
  • Experts like Robbie van Heerden and Peter Attard Montalto also predict intensified load-shedding in winter
  • Eskom is reviewing the load-shedding framework to prepare for load-shedding beyond Stage 8
  • Ramokgopa is confident in Eskom’s ability to improve power plant performance and control load-shedding

A Glimpse into the Future of Load Shedding

  1. Predictions from Industry Experts
    • André de Ruyter: Expect Stage 6 power cuts during winter
    • Robbie van Heerden: Stage 8 load-shedding likely during winter, power cuts to continue for years
    • Peter Attard Montalto: Consistent Stage 7 load-shedding from July 2023
  2. Preparing for Higher Stages of Power Cuts
    • Eskom and municipalities are taking proactive measures
    • New load-shedding framework aims to exceed Stage 8
    • Revised code of practice could extend load-shedding schedule to Stage 16
Load Shedding Stop or Start

Ramokgopa’s Take on the Load-Shedding Situation

  • The minister believes the evidence does not point to higher stages of load-shedding this winter
  • Trend lines at crucial power stations like Kriel and Duvha are on the rise
  • Kusile’s underperformance is being addressed, with four of five units expected to be online by December 24, and the last unit operational by February 2024
  • Additional power could be added to the grid through Kriel power station using a better grade of coal
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Ramokgopa’s reassurances: If winter isn’t extremely cold and current improvements continue, higher stages of load-shedding are not anticipated.

What’s Changed Since Eskom’s Winter Load-Shedding Warning?

  • The minister is basing his optimism on recent conversations with power station management and technical staff
  • Energy availability factor trendlines show exponential improvement
  • Ramokgopa emphasizes his engineering background, engaging in robust technical discussions with competent engineers

While industry experts and Eskom are preparing for the worst-case scenario with Stage 8 load-shedding and beyond, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa remains hopeful. With ongoing improvements at key power stations and his confidence in Eskom’s ability to enhance plant performance, he envisions a future with controlled load-shedding.