SA is 2,000 megawatts away from stage 8 load shedding - Eskom
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is just 2,000 megawatts away from stage 8 load shedding - and whether it happens or not - depends on the state of the power system.
Eskom said stage 8 would be implemented if there's a shortage of 8,000 megawatts on the national grid.
“From where we are now at stage 6, we are 2, 000 megawatts away from stage 8 [load shedding].
"Eskom will inform you as soon as a need occurs to change the stage of load shedding whether up or down. We, unfortunately, have to go with the dictate of the machines at that point," said Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha.
Stage 8 means consumers would be plunged into darkness for 48 hours over a four-day period or 96 hours over eight days.
On Thursday, the country was on stage 6 of rolling power cuts - which Eskom said were mainly due to ongoing protests over a wage dispute.
Eskom workers were demanding a 12% wage increase and had also blocked access to some of the utility's power stations.
There have also been reports of staff - who had reported for duty - being intimidated.
With wage negotiations set to continue on Friday, the country is waiting with bated breath hoping an agreement will be reached.
Meanwhile, Joburg City Power said the regional grid was not designed to carry the strain of the frequent on-and-off switching of electricity.
The utility said the added pressure on some of its depots was the cause of extended blackouts in and around the city.
"There are 77 suburbs that one depo needs to deal with, also that it carries some essential services including the reservoirs at Brixton and Crosby, the water reservoirs and the health facilities - even the education facilities in those areas. That is why it is important that we deal with some of the issues that are raised in those areas," said spokesperson Isaac Mangena.
This article first appeared on EWN : SA is 2,000 megawatts away from stage 8 load shedding - Eskom