Eskom suspends load shedding until further notice

 ·14 Dec 2023

Power utility Eskom says that further improvements to generation capacity have allowed it to keep load shedding suspended until further notice.

This follows a steady de-escalation in load shedding stages throughout the week.

The group previously anticipated rotating between stage 2 load shedding in the evening and a suspension of outages during the day.

Independent energy analyst Pieter Jordaan noted earlier this week that the return to periods of suspension of load shedding is thanks to a trifecta of supportive conditions for the grid: demand is trending lower, breakdowns are decreasing, and the return of Koeberg has boosted the power supply.

Demand has dropped significantly due to industries shutting down for the holiday period.

However, all of these supports remain under pressure, and the key performance indicator – energy availability (EAF) – is not showing signs of improving to the degree that Eskom or the politicians in charge have promised.

EAF remains stubbornly low at around 55%, a far reach from the 2023 peak of 60% seen about eight weeks ago, and still further off from the 65% target Eskom wants to reach by March 2024 (only three months away).

Eskom also warned that things can still change, and the group said that it will announce any shifts as needed, as they occur.

South Africa last saw a full day of no load shedding on 10 December, and before that the country experienced a nine-day streak from 20 October.

2023 has been the worst year on record for load shedding by a significant margin, with South Africans experiencing more than double the blackout hours than in 2022.

Read: Eskom wants R16 billion bailout conversion

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