Jun 15, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Stage 2021 load shedding? SA told to brace for ‘high occurrence’ until later this year

Eish Mzansi, we don’t know what to tell you. We’re used to getting load shedding updates at the minute but we’re not used to getting a dreary outlook for the next few months and, unfortunately, this is exactly what this piece is about.

NECESSARY DURING THE WINTER PERIOD?

Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha released a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning 18 May saying that Stage 2 load shedding would be suspended for a few hours and would return between 17:00 and 22:00.

This, however, recently changed whereby Eskom downgraded Tuesday evening’s power cuts to Stage 1.

In the same statement, Mantshantsha said the embattled power utility is experiencing high evening peaks which is typical of the winter demand period. He went on to say that power cuts may be necessary between 17:00 and 22:00 during the winter period which makes it seem like it could persist every single night.

“Should there be any further deterioration in the generation capacity, load shedding may be necessary, most likely between 17:00 and 22:00 during the winter period,” he said in the statement.

Mandy Weiner from Cape Talk, however, sought to clear that up with Mantshantsha. She asked if South Africans would indeed have to endure blackouts every night during winter.

‘YES WE WILL HAVE MORE LOAD SHEDDING’ – MANTSHANTSHA

In answer to Weiner’s question about having load shedding every night, Mantshantsha said Eskom has been consistent in saying there is a high occurrence of load shedding that we should expect until much later this year when much of the maintenance has been conducted.

“So this being winter, yes we will have more load shedding. I cannot at this stage say there will be load shedding every day but I would like the people of South Africa to expect that there will be load shedding during this period.

As for Cape Town, she has a mind of her own. Cape Town customers or residents were set to be protected from the Stage 2 power cuts that were meant to make a return at 17:00 on Tuesday.

The City said that it is able to protect its residents with the help of the City’s Steenbras Pumped Storage Plant.

“The City of Cape Town is able to generate additional capacity to protect customers from one stage of Eskom load shedding where we are able to do so. Cape Town is the only city in South Africa that can provide this extra relief to our residents,” it said.