The possibility of Stage 8 load shedding has never seemed more real: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has put South Africans on high alert, after he punted the possibility of these extreme blackouts on Wednesday.
Minister Gordhan ‘happy to rely on Stage 8 load shedding’
Responding to a set of questions from the DA in Parliament, Gordhan rejected a request to declare a State of Disaster for Eskom. Opposition politicians believe the energy crisis requires desperate measures if it is to be fixed, and whereas most of us would rather avoid Stage 8 load shedding, the minister doesn’t seem fazed by it.
Gordhan told the house that no State of Disaster would be required – because Eskom can fall back on Stage 8. He says that the most punishing round of electricity outages is enough to protect the grid from collapsing.
Pravin Gordhan fails to reassure weary South Africans
However, reaching Stage 8 load shedding would itself be a major crisis for the country. South Africa has never gone past Stage 6, and anything worse than that would plunge us into uncharted territory:
“The government has not considered declaring a state of disaster to respond to the energy challenges that we are facing. At this point, there is no requirement for government or Eskom to declare an emergency.”
“At all times, the main imperative is to avoid the total collapse of the grid. There are, therefore, internal plans to manage the power system that will allow the systems operator to implement up to Stage 8 load shedding – in order to protect the grid from total collapse.”
What is Stage 8 load shedding, and how does it work?
At Stage 8, households could suffer anywhere between 12-14 hours without electricity per day.
This has been factored into the load shedding schedules of our major metros. Looking at eThekwini, Cape Town, and Joburg, for example, some regions could expect to experience ‘five or six separate power cuts’ in a 24-hour cycle.
Up to EIGHT local districts per municipality could be working without any electricity whatsoever, several times a day, all at the same time. In a nutshell, Stage 8 load shedding would cripple our everyday way of living.
Gordhan says there are internal plans in place to manage the power system that will allow the systems operator to implement up to stage 8 loadshedding to protect the grid from total collapse.#EconomicCluster #ElectricityCrisis. NM
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