Is Eskom telling porkies or what? The energy firm has been accused of sweeping higher levels of load shedding under the rug, despite keeping a public record of how much electricity is being purposefully removed from the grid. Some analysts believe SA nearly reached STAGE 8 on Monday.
What is Stage 8 load shedding?
Sikonathi Mantshantsha is the official spokesperson for Eskom – a job none of us would particularly envy. He shares daily updates about energy consumption in Mzansi, including the total demand and the amount of power that is taken offline due to load shedding.
His stats show that a whopping 6 770 MW was removed on Monday. Now, according to Eskom’s own data, any load shedding of 6 001 MW or more constitutes STAGE 7 load shedding. In fact, the threshold for Stage 8 stands at 7 001 MW.
How close did SA come to Stage 8 this week?
That means South Africa was a little over 200 MW shy of having to inflict the worst-possible phase of load shedding on the public, as per the utility’s own metrics. A number of eagle-eyed experts were on hand to highlight these discrepancies.
In case you were wondering, We actually hit level 7 (>6000mw) loadshedding last night. pic.twitter.com/b6ehBMKCmp
— Ted Blom (@tedblom) September 20, 2022
@Eskom_SA I suggest you go back to Grade R/Sub A and learn how to count. According to you we are at stage 6 going to stage 5. But if you look at your load dump schedule Stage 5 is the same as Stage 7. Please explain. Has there been a sudden change in traditional counting methods pic.twitter.com/rSXxW6D7fY
— Graeme Hosken (@GraemeHosken) September 19, 2022
— Nick Hedley (@nickhedley) September 19, 2022
Current load shedding forecast for Tuesday 20 September
Despite the suspicions of a Stage 8 catastrophe, Eskom have been bullish about their prospects for the week ahead. The SOE moved load shedding down a stage earlier this morning, and there is hope that several units returning to service will help ease the strain in the days ahead.
“Overnight, units at Camden, Kriel, Kusile and Kendal were returned but unfortunately, we had to take off a unit at Duvha which developed a boiler tube leak. Load shedding will thus be reduced to Stage 5 at 00:00 on Tuesday 20 September.” | Eskom statement