Eskom recently announced that it would be re-introducing load shedding due to a worsening generation system.
On Monday (19 November), the power utility advised its customers to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom or local municipal website and plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place.
While the possibility of blackouts will put a dampener on South Africa’s festive season, the power provider has also changed the structure of its load shedding stages.
Under the previous load shedding schedule, four stages were implemented with between 1,000 MW and 4,000 MW of the national load shed – with ‘stage 4’ being the worst possible outcome for South African consumers.
Stage 4 will result in consumers being without power for a total of 24 hours spread out over four days, or a total of 48 hours over eight days.
However, Eskom has since revised its schedule to include up to eight different stages, with up to 8,000 MW shed from the national grid – effectively doubling the power cut frequency of stage 4.
During stage 8 load shedding, consumers would be without power for 48 hours over four days, or 96 hours in eight days.
Speaking to News24, Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae said that there was nothing to panic about and that the risk of stages 5-8 being implemented was very low.
“The Disaster Management Act requires Eskom to develop contingency plans for identified major incidents,” she said.
“A severe supply constraint is one of these, for which Eskom has plans in place. Eskom also continually improves these plans.”
Mothae added that Eskom and most metros have already developed load shedding schedules that cater for stages 1-8.