In a statement released just minutes ago, Eskom announced that Stage 4 load shedding will move to Stage 6 as from 18:00 on Monday 9 December 2019.
Eskom explains that it is due to “a technical problem at Medupi Power Station” which impacts additional generational supply after heavy rains “caused by coal-handling and operational problems”.
“We regret and sincerely apologise that Stage 4 load shedding will move to Stage 6 load shedding as from 18:00 today, as a result of a shortage of capacity. […] We remind and assure customers that load shedding at Stage 6 is no cause for alarm as the system is being effectively controlled. Stage 6 requires 6 000MW to be rotationally load-shedded.”
Eskom assured concerned citizens that its emergency response command centre and technical teams “will be working through the night to restore units as soon as possible”.
What is Stage 6 load shedding?
It means that Eskom needs to shed about 6 000MW. In short, the higher stage, the more frequently we will experience load shedding.
Eskom currently has generation capacity of 45 000MW; but had to roll out Stage 4 load shedding because it was struggling to meet the demand of 27 000MW.
That means that Eskom is doubling up our schedules from what we would normally getting during a Stage 3 roll-out. In other words, prepare for load shedding up to 18 times more.
We go into a more detailed explanation about Stage 6 load shedding here.
Stage 6 schedule
Unfortunately, this information isn’t available yet. And by that, we mean that even City Power in Johannesburg is still in the dark about the Stage 6 schedules.
“We do not have stage 6 load shedding schedule as yet, as soon as it is received we will communicate.”
This lead to barrage of tweets from concerned netizens asking how Stage 6 could be implemented without a plan.
“This is madness. City power is quick to call me to pay my monthly installment but I can’t even plan for the upcoming power cuts that sprung onto us at the last damn minute. Thank you Eskom.”
South Africa reacts
“As a people we have learnt to find humour in tragedy; but make no mistake, Eskom is sabotaging the hopes of 10 million unemployed South Africans.”
“Stage 8 is when Eskom stops trying. Everyone gets sent home early and told to try again tomorrow.”