‘TIS is not going to be the season to be jolly, this Christmas. You may have lights on the tree, but you may not be able to switch them on.
There is going to be increased crime, there are going to be heatwaves. You may not even have potato salad, given the price of potatoes and eggs.There are growing concerns that the country may have a black festive season due to Eskom implementing increased stages of load shedding.
This might see lights on the Christmas tree not being switched on, on Christmas Day – something that would be a first.
Instead of families preparing to spend time together these holidays, they are worried about load shedding, higher food prices and heatwaves among the many challenges South Africans are facing. .
Energy expert, Matthew Cruise, said the country had been plunged into load shedding Stage 8 by Eskom.
Briefing the media, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa denied the reports of Stage 8.
“I want to repeat on record, we were never at Stage 8; we were on Stage 6,” said Ramokgopa.
Data showed that Eskom cut more than 7 000MV of power from the grid last weekend.
Cruise said by Eskom’s own definition, this was equal to Stage 8 blackouts.
“Technically, we did go into Stage 8 if you look at the definition of each stage of load shedding equal to 1 000 megawatts from the grid. We experienced 10 hours, two days in a row.
“Unfortunately, what I see going forward is actually that we are going to go to Stage 7 and 8, undeniably because of the way that things are going in South Africa with our electricity system,” said Cruise.
X user OxNhlanhla .eth wrote: “The generators are just a ploy to justify privatization of Eskom for the $1 billion and to rile up constituents. If that was the case cupcake and his brother in law could easily cough $1 billion up if they really cared about the well being of the country.”
Another user, Coby Blakesmit, wrote: “Anyways let me invest in an inverter – it is going to be a long summer with Stage 8 Load shedding which is actually what we are experiencing at the moment. Switching between stages does not fool us. Yirr when is this damn election???”
Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said they are confident that there would be no black festive season.
“With the return of the three units at Kusile and two running at full load and the other ramping up, as well as some of the units being brought back from planned maintenance with improved performance, we are confident that we will go through the festive season without major issues.
“Secondly, the expected low demand during December will also assist. Our current outlook for the festive season is positive with lower stages of load shedding while there will be a few days without load shedding,” said Mokwena.
Yesterday (Friday) Eskom announced that Stage 2 and 3 load shedding would be implemented from 10am from yesterday (Friday) until tomorrow (Sunday).
“Due to the sustained improvement of the generation capacity with unplanned outages at 13 542MW, load shedding will be reduced to Stage 2 from 10am yesterday until 4pm.
“Thereafter, Stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm until 5am on Sunday when load shedding will be suspended from 5am until 4pm. On Sunday, Stage 3 load shedding will resume from 4pm until 5am on Monday. Eskom will communicate the update on the week ahead on Sunday afternoon,” said Mokwena.
Eskom partially blamed the heatwave for the increased stages of load shedding.
Meanwhile, the SA weather Service warned about another heatwave which was set to hit Gauteng this weekend. The service said warm to hot weather conditions will resurface today and follows a record breaking heatwave which broke on Tuesday.
Forecaster Lehlohonolo Thobela said the heatwave would blanket Gauteng from today before spreading to other parts of the country.