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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Load shedding: No reprieve for Muslims during Eid-ul-Fitr

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) wrote to Praving Gordhan requesting that load shedding be suspended on the day.

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has told the Muslim community of South Africa that there will be no reprieve from load shedding on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr as the electricity grid is severely constrained.


This comes after a number of organisations including the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) of South Africa wrote to Gordhan requesting that the deliberate power cuts be suspended on the day of celebration which culminated the ending of Islamic month of Ramadan.

Depending on the sighting of the moon on Friday, Eid-ul-Fitr is likely to be on Saturday, if not on Sunday.

Load shedding on Eid

Load shedding severely affected Muslim during the holy month with people having to get up earlier to have their predawn meals before the fast begins and also to prepare their food well in advance to break their fast at sunset.

In a letter to Irafaan Abrahams, the MJC president, Gordhan said he discussed the challenge of load shedding on the weekend with Eskom.

“I have requested Eskom to do everything possible to limit load shedding during Eid this weekend. However, the energy system is extremely constrained.

ALSO READ: Ramadan: No load shedding on Eid-ul-Fitr?

Eskom feedback

Gordan said Eskom provided feedback on the request for reprieve from load shedding on the day of day of celebration.

“The following is the information provided by the Eskom board. Eid is likely to be on Saturday – 22 April, or Sunday – 23 April. While this does fall over a weekend when the demand for electricity is lower, the demand remains significantly high at this time of the year.

“Hence the current outlook for this weekend shows that stage 3 load shedding will be required on both Saturday and Sunday morning, while stage 4 will be required on both nights to protect the power system from complete collapse,” Gordan said.

Generation capacity

Gordhan added that Eskom said it would endeavour to reduce the load shedding further should there be an improvement in the available generating capacity and should it be safe to do so.

“The reliability of the power stations remains erratic and unpredictable, and while the latest outlook shows a reduction in load shedding over this coming weekend, the risk of escalation to higher stages at short notice remains.

“We remain committed to keeping the stages of load shedding as minimal as possible while maintaining system stability, I wish the Muslim Community a joyous Eid Mubarak,” Gordhan said.

Load shedding

Meanwhile, Eskom on Friday said stage 6 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 5am on Saturday.

Thereafter, stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 5am until 4pm and stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm until 5am.

Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said this cycle will be repeated on Sunday until 5am on Monday morning.

“These load shedding stages may change at short notice. Eskom will publish a further update as soon as any significant changes occur. Breakdowns are currently at 15 930MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 6 505MW.


“Over the past 24 hours two generation units at Kendal and Kriel, and a unit each at Matimba and Medupi power stations were returned to service. In the same period, a generating unit each at Matla and Tutuka power stations were taken offline for repairs,” Mokwena said.

Mokwena added that the delays in returning a unit to service at Kriel and two units at Tutuka Power Stations have contributed to the capacity constraints.

“The team is working around the clock to ensure that generating units are returned to service as soon as possible,” she said.

ALSO READ: Ramadan: The struggle is real during load shedding

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