Some areas in South Africa are experiencing higher stages of load-shedding than what Eskom officially announces.
Many people in Potchefstroom, for example, reported that they experienced between 11 and 12 hours of load-shedding per day – well outside of stage 6.
Similar experiences are shared by other people across South Africa who experience up to 12 hours of power cuts per day.
Energy analyst Chris Yelland told ENCA that the Eskom systems operator is receiving many complaints from people about load-shedding hours longer than what is specified for stage 6.
“I know for a fact there are certain municipalities are load-shedding certain areas differently to others – you may say in a discriminatory fashion,” Yelland said.
He added that some areas, especially when institutions like hospitals are located there, receive preferential treatment.
In turn, other areas receive higher load-shedding to compensate for the preferential treatment of some suburbs.
“So, it is happening [where some areas experience higher load shedding stages than what is public knowledge],” he said.
Yelland’s feedback follows numerous reports from other energy experts and business leaders that Eskom exceeds stage 6 load-shedding in parts of the country.
Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone said parts of the country are already experiencing stage 8 load-shedding, which impacts the food supply and creates water shortages.
“I can assure you that in certain parts of the country, we are already in stage 8 load-shedding,” Boone said.
Pick n Pay told Daily Investor it has stores in parts of the country which have experienced power outages beyond the official numbers for prolonged periods.
Energy expert Adil Nchabeleng said Eskom has decided not to inform the public when it exceeds stage 6 load-shedding.
He said South Africa is already experiencing much higher load-shedding stages than Eskom is reporting.
“Eskom has decided to cap its announcements at stage 6 load-shedding, avoiding announcing stage 8 or higher load-shedding,” he said.
“They are giving us the impression that everything is oscillating around stage 6, which is a lie. It is beyond stage 6 when considering the frequency of power cuts.”
“We are sitting at a minimum of 12 hours of electricity cuts on a given day, and they are blanketing out major areas.”