The Democratic Alliance’s shadow minister of public enterprises, Ghaleb Cachalia, said South Africa exceeded stage 6 load-shedding and hovered at stages 7 and 8.
Last week, Eskom hit record levels of load-shedding for September, but it stopped reporting on how many megawatts it shed when it started exceeding 6,000 MW.
On Tuesday, 12 September, Eskom announced that numerous generation units’ delayed return to service forced it to implement continuous stage 6 load-shedding.
Four generating units broke down overnight, and the anticipated return to service of generating units at Kendal, Matla and Matimba power stations had been delayed.
On Tuesday, Eskom announced that it had shed 6,362 MW from the grid, which equates to stage 7 load-shedding.
On Wednesday, Eskom appealed to the public to reduce the electricity demand between 17:00 and 21:00 to “avoid higher stages of load-shedding”.
The power utility was already implementing stage 6 load-shedding, and many media publications interpreted it as a stage 7 load-shedding warning.
Stage 6 load-shedding continued, and on Thursday, Eskom cut 6,450 MW from the grid, again equating to stage 7 load-shedding.
Eskom did not report how many megawatts it cut on Monday, 11 September, Wednesday, 13 September, or Friday, 15 September.
Energy expert Adil Nchabeleng previously said Eskom has decided not to inform the public when it exceeds stage 6 load-shedding.
“Eskom has made a decision 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.”
Cachalia echoed Nchabeleng’s views. He told Biznews, “It seems that South Africa experienced stage 7 and 8 load shedding”. “We are above stage 6 for sure,” he said.
Eskom vehemently denied that it implemented stage 7 or 8 load-shedding or even hinted that it may go that way.
“It is very concerning and disappointing that some media houses publish incorrect information to the public,” Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said.
“Eskom has never said nor warned the public about implementing stage 7 or 8,” she said in a statement.
Eskom load-shedding last week
The table below shows Eskom’s load-shedding data, which it shared on its official platforms.
|Date||Load-shedding||Official stage||Actual stage|
|Sun, 10 September||3,510 MW||Stage 4||Stage 4|
|Mon, 11 September||Not reported||Not reported||Not reported|
|Tue, 12 September||6,362 MW||Stage 6||Stage 7|
|Wed, 13 September||Not reported||Not reported||Not reported|
|Thu, 14 September||6,450 MW||Stage 6||Stage 7|
|Fri, 15 September||Not reported||Not reported||Not reported|