Yikes! It seems the worst could just happen on the load shedding front as Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer has revealed that they could possibly ramp up the power cuts to Stage 6 – but only if they run out of diesel and water.
Oberholzer addressed a media briefing on Wednesday morning, 9 March 2022, just hours after the troubled parastatal announced it would be escalating the load shedding to Stage 4.
The load shedding will continue until Friday morning at 05:00 – after which Stage 2 of the power cuts will then kick in at least until Monday morning also at 05:00.
COULD LOAD SHEDDING BE ESCALATED TO STAGE SIX?
Moving to Stage 6 load shedding would mean the absolute worst for Eskom. Jan Oberholzer has defended the decision to escalate to Stage 4 load shedding, saying this was to avoid just that.
“Should we be in Stage 2 where we are now and we are running out completely out of diesel and completely out of water, and we then have to implement load shedding then it means there is up to six stages of load shedding. So we will do whatever we can to limit that”
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer
The utility implemented a fresh bout of power cuts on Monday for the first time this month, citing multiple generating unit failures.
As to why the move to Stage four? The embattled power utility says units at its Kendal, Duvha, Camden and Kusile power stations tripped.
“However, these units still need to ramp up to full output, which necessitates a high usage of emergency generation reserves today. This being the fourth day of extremely high diesel usage, the emergency reserves are being depleted faster than can be replenished. Stage 4 loadshedding will therefore give us the space required to replenish the emergency reserves and continue to manage the system safely”
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha