Power utility Eskom says that it will implement stage 2 load shedding all week, during peak evening hours from 17h00 to 22h00.
This is due to the continued shortage of generation capacity it has been experiencing, Eskom said.
“While there may be instances where load shedding might need to be implemented outside of these hours, as far as possible Eskom will endeavour to limit the implementation of load shedding to the evening peak in order to limit the impact of the capacity shortages on the public,” it said.
“Eskom will continue to closely monitor the system, adjust and communicate any changes as may be necessary. We appeal to all South Africans to help limit the impact of load shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items.”
Due to the continued shortage of generation capacity, Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented from 17:00 until 22:00 throughout the week. pic.twitter.com/E40GBxaAjs
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) May 22, 2022
Continued load shedding is adding more stress to the South African economy, and more energy experts are warning of escalating problems – including a possible move to even higher stages of load shedding.
Independent energy analyst Mike Rossouw warned that the country could soon see stage 8 load shedding, with power station breakdowns occurring so frequently that Eskom is unable to predict energy availability for a few hours ahead.
“Eskom is focusing so much on breakdowns and so little on maintenance they don’t have a clue what’s happening that’s why we have levels 1, 2 and 3.”
Stage 8 would see consumers without power for 12 hours each day.
“The current energy availability factor for the entire fleet is probably 50% or less. Maintenance hardly gets to 10% maybe 7%, and breakdowns account for 20% or more. So your breakdowns are more than double the maintenance,” he said.
“There is no sign of recovery. This year [load-shedding] is worse than it’s ever been and Eskom has lost control.”
Another energy analyst, professor Sampson Mamphweli, told ENCA: “For each stage of load shedding, we lose R500 million to the economy (during the week). This is about 3% of GDP over a year.”
Demand has been higher than even Eskom expected, he said, which paints a worrying picture.”There is a possibility for a higher stage of load shedding…we could see stage 5 load shedding soon.
“We have a power system that breaks down, and it’s very unpredictable at the moment. These breakdowns are anything – from trips, to boiler issues.”
He said he could not rule out the possibility of stage 8 load shedding.
For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available here:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Ekurhuleni
- City of Tshwane
- City of Cape Town (PDF)
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Buffalo City
For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.
Smartphone users can also download the app EskomSePush to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented, as well as the times the area you are in will be off.