Eskom has stated that Stage 4 loadshedding would be implemented on Tuesday (10th December) until 23:00 but following the events of Monday evening, South African’s may hesitate to take Eskom at its word.

The utility implemented Stage 6 loadshedding on Monday evening, giving South Africa just 30 minutes notice before 6 000MW of power was shed from the grid.

The reason behind the never-before-seen loadshedding stage – as stated by Eskom – were threefold. The big kicker appears to be the failure of incline conveyor belts which feed Medupi power station. This failure led to the loss of “a number of units”.

The incessant rain currently being experienced in parts of South Africa has also played a part. The Kriel Mine was flooded and this lead to zero coal being delivered to the nearby power station.

Finally Camden Power Station experienced flooding with the boiler and turbine hall being affected. Eskom stated that other failures at Camden led to coal supply and coal-handling issues.

The real slap in the face of South Africans however was delivered via an interview with eNCA on Monday evening.

Responding to a question asked by Samkele Maseko as to whether Stage 6 is a signal that Eskom and the Eskom board of directors had failed, acting Eskom group chief executive officer, Jabu Mabuza said.

“I don’t think we’re failing. I think some of the reasons we find ourselves where we are as Jan has explained, is the unreliability of the plant owing to maintenance that has not been done. The situation we find ourselves in today is to make sure it is controlled loadshedding. Satge 6 is not a calamity, it is controlled to protect the system from total blackout,” Mabuza said.

So despite almost a week of continuous loadshedding, Eskom believes it is not failing in turning the ship around.

Nevertheless, Eskom reverted to Stage 4 loadshedding on Monday evening at 22:00 and the power outages have remained on that severity throughout the night.

It is however a new day and we suspect that new challenges will appear for Eskom.

As such we recommend downloading Eskom’s full loadshedding schedule so you are not caught unawares should Stage 7 or Stage 8 (yes those are real) be implemented at a moment’s notice.

For South Africans who receive their electricity bill from a municipality you can head to this link to find your schedule.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]