- Experts are convinced that Stage 6 load-shedding may soon be a regular occurrence
- While the threat of a total blackout is a distant one, many claim that it is still a possibility for SA
- With Eskom already struggling to meet demand, things are set to get hairy when business resumes as normal next week
Energy experts across the board are adamant that Stage 6 is a very real possibility for South Africa.
IOL reports that Gauteng, where outages occur in four-hour intervals, would be the hardest hit when the power will go out for an average of 10 hours daily.
Briefly.co.za reported that Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza had resigned after misleading President Cyril Ramaphosa on the timeline for the outages.
Stage 2 load-shedding was a reality for South Africa this week, despite the president's vow to Mzansi that the outages would only return on the 13th.
With numerous factories starting production on Monday, the strain on the system could see the system requiring more dire measures to be taken to avoid total collapse.
University of Johannesburg Professor Hartmut Winkler says the situation will get worse before it improves:
“Things could certainly get worse, especially if some of the remaining coal plants that have been performing reasonably to date also experience major breakdowns. Permanent stage 2 load shedding, occasionally rising to stage 4 or even stage 6, is not unthinkable in the current state of affairs. Some people are even advocating that this is the way to go, as it would make it easier for Eskom to catch up on its delayed maintenance schedule.”
Winkler says that it could take Eskom years to fully recover, but Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe is currently a major hurdle:
“In five years, Medupi and Kusile can hopefully be completed and, even more importantly, a massive amount of renewable energy generating capacity can be put in place. The latter of course requires governmental support, but the present minister that has the power to initiate the renewable power development process seems to be very slow and even reluctant, to do so.”
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