Eskom often downplays the extent of their load shedding schedules, implementing stage 3 cuts masked as stage 1.
This is according to power and mining expert Ted Blom, in an interview with Chris Hattingh during the latest episode of the Free Marketeers podcast.
Blom predicted that stage 8 outages could be secretly implemented while understated as a lower shedding stage.
“Eskom is understating the amount of power it’s actually shedding. When Eskom says we are having stage 1 load shedding or shedding 1000MW, to the economy it is in fact a 3000MW shortage.
“If you add the numbers, it’s the 2000MW from the interruptible, plus 2000MW from the public, plus the residual for which they are over 2000MW, that in fact takes us to about stage 5 load shedding,” said Blom.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said that if Eskom were to implement any stage of load shedding, it would tell the public.
Mantshantsha said that it would take a lot of breakdowns to get to stage 8 of load shedding.
“At most Eskom supplies 30,000MW and getting to stage 8 would mean that we would have to supply 10000MW,” said Mantshantsha.
Blom also said that while Eskom has said it is shedding at Stage 2 recently, it has consistently been over 2000MW short, which technically means stage 3 was in effect.
“If Eskom was more transparent and honest in its dealings with the public. I feel quite comfortable saying that I will not be surprised that between now and the end of winter we will experience stage 6 load shedding, pretty much for certain, and even stage 8 or above is a possibility,” said Blom.
Blom said that 2021 might be the worst year of load shedding.