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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

‘Stage 8 load shedding likely in winter’ – Eskom

Eskom actiing CEO Calib Cassim has warned that it's going to be a difficult winter for South Africa with 3 000 MW less power than last winter.

Acting Eskom CEO Calib Cassim has warned that it’s going to be a difficult winter for South Africa with a possibility of the country hitting stage 8 load shedding during the cold season.

The Eskom team briefed the media this morning, providing an update on the state of the system and its operational performance with the primary focus on the winter outlook.

Stage 8

Cassim said Eskom has 3 000MW less power this winter than it did last winter.

“If the interventions that we have planned for the winter do not achieve the desired outcomes and your unplanned outages reaches levels of 18 000MW, then the likelihood of stage 8 load shedding during peaks is extremely high.”

However, Cassim reiterated that a national blackout is unlikely.

“We are confident that will not occur because of the interventions and the control mechanisms that we have in place through a competent system operator team. More importantly, load shedding is necessary to keep control of the transmission grid which is critical and that is why the choice of the levels of load shedding is then executed to still remain in control of the grid.

“Eskom would like to apologise to all South Africans for the negative impact caused by the implementation of load shedding. We understand the impact load shedding has on the economy and on the livelihood of all South Africans, however, load shedding is implemented to maintain the stability of the national power system to avoid a blackout,” said Cassim.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Eskom acting CEO ‘not losing sleep’ over total blackout concerns

Very cold winter

Earlier, board chair Mpho Makwana warned the weather forecast showed much colder weeks ahead which meant the demand of electricity would increase during winter.

“We fully comprehend the adverse impact this has on South Africa’s already fragile economy and its people. We are doing everything to mitigate the intensity of rotational load shedding including taking lessons from the rest of the word.

“Often load shedding is seen as a uniquely South African phenomenon, but we have seen effective rotational load shedding during the winter months requires a co-ordinated effort among all stakeholders within a country,” said Makwana.

André de Ruyter

Eskom said it would be looking into how former CEO André de Ruyter handled alleged corruption.

Makwana said De Ruyter “broke the trust in the most repulsive manner” and went against his obligations as a CEO of a “national key point”.

ALSO READ: Threats of legal action against those illegally sharing De Ruyter’s ebook

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