Unconfirmed reports have stipulated that power utility Eskom, along with the national government, are beginning planning for “Stage 5” and “Stage 6” load shedding.
As reported by Fin24, officials have said that it is a race against time to ensure that the national power grid does not collapse and cause a national blackout.
Stage 5 would involve 5 000 megawatts of electricity being shed, while Stage 6 would involve the shedding of 6 000 megawatts.
Eskom gave an update on the current energy crisis just this afternoon, saying that its previous management’s underspending on maintenance is one of the reasons load shedding has continued.
The public entity’s Chairman, Jabu Mabuza, added that the country’s coal-powered stations can only sufficiently produce electricity for 30 years, whereas many coal power stations have been in use for over 35 years. Several are up to 50 years old.
“This was not money that was sitting in a vault somewhere at Eskom. It’s clear when looking at the financials over the past five years the maintenance was in a reduction sense,” Mabuza said in reference to the underspending of maintenance money for power stations.
While a 10-day investigation has been launched, and with several measures coming into play from Wednesday onwards, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has said that there is no exact date for when load shedding will conclude.