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EXPLAINED: If Eskom implements a higher stage of load shedding, this is what it could mean

Durban – Eskom announced the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding on Wednesday.

The power utility giant said it was due to breakdowns of two generating units at Grootvlei power station, as well as a unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Kendal, Kriel and Tutuka power stations.

In addition, two units at Arnot, a unit each at Camden, Kendal and Kriel power stations have been delayed in returning to service.

Reacting to the announcement, energy experts warned fellow South Africans to brace for higher stages being implemented at a moment’s notice.

Speaking to IOL, Ted Blom said Stage 8 is very possible.

“Given (the) Koeberg (situation) will lead to Stage 7 automatically unless a miracle happens. There is no diesel cushion to break the free fall. Only God can save us,” he said.

Picture: Eskom

But what does a move to a higher stage of load shedding mean?

According to energy analyst, Lungile Mashele, this means Mzansi should brace for being without electricity for between 12 to 14 hours per day.

She said, comparing the country’s power crisis to that of Zimbabwe’s, that it was a testament of how bad things have gotten not just at Eskom, but in SA.

Speaking to eNCA, she said at Stage 6, the country is without electricity for up to 10 to 12 hours per day.

“We can anticipate that at Stage 8 we will not have electricity for about 12 to 14 hours. I hate making this comparison, but if you look at what is happening in Zimbabwe currently, they have no electricity for around 19 hours, but theirs is not on a rotational basis,” she said.

In an interview with SABC, Sampson Mamphweli said Eskom’s power stations break down at any time and if there are further issues, higher stages of load shedding will take effect.

Eskom has meanwhile confirmed that the outage of Koeberg Unit 1 has been delayed to this afternoon to get some time to stabilise the system.

The unit was meant to undergo refuelling and maintenance starting this week.

Currently, Stage 6 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 5am on Friday before moving to Stage 5 until 5am on Saturday morning.

Picture: Eskom