Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
7 Jun 2021
2:20 pm

Eskom ‘has sneakily gone to stage 6 load shedding’

Cheryl Kahla

Energy expert Ted Blom says parts of Gauteng are actually worse off than the power utility is really letting on.

Picture: iStock

Energy expert Ted Blom said on Thursday that South Africans were already “beyond stage 2”, claiming that some areas in Sandton had been subjected to stage 6 schedules already.

Update: Blom confirmed on Monday that Eskom indeed implemented stage 6 load shedding: 

“So load shedding on Wednesday [2 June 2021] was actually level 6 (5 136MW) versus stage 2 [as] declared by Eskom.”

Blom wanted to know if Eskom thinks the “public is stupid”, and asked: “Who needs to be fired?”

Stage 6 load shedding schedules in Gauteng

Blom called on citizens who were subjected to power cuts going beyond the stage 2 level to share their experiences online. Some residents reported power cuts exceeding five hours, while Edenvale was subjected to load shedding twice.

He criticised Eskom for claiming the country was only in stage 2 while “Eskom’s own stats show level 3”.  When a citizen remarked that “Eskom has been getting worse since Cyril took over,” Blom responded:

“It is getting worse – ADR signed off new coal price with Sereti […] at double the previous coal price – higher than the Guptas.”

Stage 6 predicted in February

Back in February this year, Blom said in a radio interview with SAfm’s Aldrin Sampear that stage 6 load shedding was “a certainty”. He also told Cape Talk:

“They are telling us they are doing level 2 load shedding – but that’s for the public. What they don’t tell you is that behind the scenes they are actually load shedding their voluntary load shedding clients by another 2 000 megawatts”.

At the time, Eskom claimed the highest shedding level was stage 4. Then in March, Eskom was under severe pressure once again after breakdowns at Kusile, Matimba, Tutuka, Duvha, Kriel, Kendal and Majuba power stations led to nationwide power cuts once more.

Speaking to Faizel Patel on Radio Islam, Blom said South Africans could even face stage 8 sooner than we’d expect. Blom explained Eskom’s system outlook was at half of its capacity, and he predicted a 50% chance for the implementation of stage 6.

“When I first had a look at the system outlook, as soon as Eskom gets to 20 megawatts, it’s about half of its capacity with the ITP. Then 20 megawatts off the grid holds at least level 6 load shedding. I said that there’s a better than 50% chance of that hitting us and if they stuff it up like they did in the past, we could even hit level 8 load shedding for the first time ever.”

What is Stage 6 load shedding? 

Stage 6 means Eskom is cutting 6 000MW from the power grid when it becomes unstable. While stage 2 doubles the frequency of stage 1, and stage 3 doubles the frequency of stage 2, stage 6 will double the frequency of stage 3.

When stage 6 is implemented, power cuts will be scheduled for four-hour blocks, over a period of four days.

According to Eskom, the National Control should instruct additional, unscheduled load shedding times if more load should be shed than has been scheduled in stages 1, 2, 3 and 4.