Eskom has released its weekend load shedding forecast, showing that demand for power will outstrip projected supply for much of the long weekend.
South Africans experienced 12 consecutive days of load shedding in April, following a continued shortage of generating capacity and increased demand from users, coupled with periods of unplanned maintenance.
On 17 April, Transnet chief Brian Molefe was appointed as new acting CEO of the power utility, following the sacking of chairman Zola Tsotsi, and the suspension of Eskom’s CEO Tshediso Matona and three other senior executives including the financial director.
Molefe was asked to move from Transnet to Eskom because of his experience in turning around the Public Investment Corporation and providing stability at Transnet.
According to Molefe, while South Africans had a right to complain about load shedding, he said the utility was still working “90% of the time” and felt the public shouldn’t “beat up” the group.
He explained that there was a 3000MW gap between demand and output caused by maintenance and other issues, which constantly lead to the outages.
South Africa’s economy has lost almost R300 billion since load shedding started, costing the country over 1 million jobs, according to economists.
The government hopes to fill the gap with the Medupi and Kusile power stations, but they are only due to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Energy Minister Lynne Brown says South Africans should expect load shedding for the next two years, at least.
Here is the long weekend forecast:
- Friday (24 April): The capacity available to meet tomorrow’s evening peak demand is 31 032 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 30 638 MW.
- Saturday (25 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 30 274 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 29 302 MW.
- Sunday (26 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 28 582 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 29 169 MW.
- Monday (27 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 28 426 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 30 564 MW.