Eskom, the South African electricity public utility, has rolled out an amended load shedding agenda for the upcoming weekend.
The New Load Shedding Cadence
The current Stage 3 load shedding will persist until the stroke of midnight on Friday, 23 June, before a temporary suspension is applied until 5 AM on Saturday. The dawn of Saturday brings the implementation of Stage 1 load shedding, which will last until 4 PM, transitioning into Stage 3 until midnight. This schedule is set to echo throughout Sunday.
As Monday unveils itself, the pattern slightly shifts, with load shedding ceasing from midnight until 4 PM and then reverting to Stage 3 for the remainder of the evening.
Here’s a concise glance at the full schedule:
- Friday, 23 June: Stage 3 load shedding until midnight
- Saturday, 24 June: Load shedding suspended from midnight to 5 AM; Stage 1 from 5 AM to 4 PM; Stage 3 from 4 PM to midnight
- Sunday, 25 June: Similar schedule as Saturday
- Monday, 26 June: Load shedding suspended from midnight to 4 PM; Stage 3 from 4 PM to midnight
State of Power Generation
The total outages due to breakdowns have decreased to 14,675 MW, while planned maintenance has caused a slight uptick, taking the generating capacity offline to 3,908 MW. Over the past day, one generating unit at each of the Arnot, Kendal, and Kriel power stations have resumed operations.
Load Shedding: The Current Status
However, the delay in restoring a generating unit at Grootvlei and two units at Hendrina power station are aggravating capacity constraints. Despite these challenges, Eskom has successfully kept severe load shedding at bay for three weeks. This is largely due to minimized planned outages, enhanced generation, and a demand lower than anticipated.
The nation is currently witnessing its 205th day of power outages since the current cycle began in September 2022, with only three full days of load shedding reprieve in the last ten months. Despite a modicum of improvement, daily load shedding remains the bitter reality for South Africans.