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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor


Is the ‘worst’ now ‘behind us’? Stage 6 load shedding reduced to … stage 5

Thanks, Eskom?


Eskom has announced the reduction of load shedding by one stage.

The country has been battling stage 6 load shedding since Friday, with rolling blackouts escalating ever since President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation on Thursday that his government was confident “the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach“.

ALSO READ: ‘A better time is coming’- Ramaphosa praises SA’s ‘resilience’ as load shedding worsens

The high level of power cuts was blamed on two generating units being taken offline and pumped storage dams needing to be replenished.

Eskom announced on Sunday these dams had been replenished and some generation units had come back online, so it would drop load shedding by one stage from midday.

Will things improve?

It did not announce if and when it would be reduced further, but said it was working hard to make sure it had 3 200MW returned to service by Wednesday evening.

The utility has more than five times that amount, a whopping 17 595MW, out of service due to unplanned outages alone. It has 6,885MW out due to planned maintenance.

Will anything really change?

The change to load shedding schedules may be small, and in some cases the difference between a two-hour and four-hour outage.

City Power, which took over load shedding from Eskom in Johannesburg last year, explained that in stage 5, all blocks in the city will be shed three times in a day, as opposed to four.

ALSO READ: What relief? Here’s why you are still getting four-hour blocks of load shedding in Joburg

“4 blocks will not experience the 4-hour duration of load shedding. The schedule for these 4 groups will feel like customers are still in stages 3 and 4 of load shedding.

“The other 12 blocks will experience one episode of the 4-hour duration of loadshedding. All these blocks will rotate and have a fair share of the 4 straight hours of blackout.”

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