Energy analyst Chris Yelland said Eskom hit stage 8 power cuts according to the official national code of practice for load shedding.
Speaking to Newzroom Africa, Yelland said many people, including his family in Craighall Park, are experiencing 12 hours of load-shedding daily.
“If you look at the NRS048-9 specifications, they are consistent with stage 8 load-shedding. It is not stage 6 load-shedding,” Yelland said.
He explained that power cuts of 12 hours or more per day are a problem experienced by people across South Africa.
“The level of load-shedding of ten to twelve hours per day that we are experiencing is stage 8 load-shedding,” he reiterated.
He added that the higher-than-expected power cuts create a lot of cynicism and the belief that South Africans are not being told the truth about the extent of the electricity crisis.
It is not the first time energy experts have raised concerns that Eskom’s official load-shedding stage did not reflect the reality on the ground.
Yelland previously said Eskom’s 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 that are load-shedding certain areas differently to others – you may say in a discriminatory fashion,” Yelland said.
“So, it is happening where some areas experience higher load shedding stages than what is public knowledge,” he said.
Energy expert Adil Nchabeleng said Eskom has most likely 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.”
Monique le Roux from the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) concurs.
She previously said Eskom seems to have a drive to avoid as much as possible announcing stage 7 load-shedding.
Former Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone also highlighted that parts of South Africa were experiencing stage 8 load-shedding, which impacts food supply and creates water shortages.
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.