South Africa is facing yet another difficult spell with constrained energy supply after Eskom entered their fifth consecutive day of load shedding. Stage 4 cuts are in place until 23:00 on Monday night, but you might want to take this forecast with a pinch of salt – because things are expected to become much worse.

Load shedding on Monday 9 December – how long it will last, and the latest on ‘plant-flooding’

Eskom issued a statement on Monday morning, confirming the outlook for the rest of the day. The beleaguered state utility are blaming everything – from a host of unplanned breakdowns to the supply of “wet coal” for their struggles, and it looks like adverse weather conditions will crank-up the load shedding schedule.

Flooding has been reported in parts of the north-east, and Eskom’s power stations have been directly impacted. Coal-handling operations have been dramatically affected, meaning that the entire grid could lose power capacity later in the day. According to the utility, load shedding is here “for the rest of the week”:

“With the incessant rains, we are experiencing flooding at some of our power stations, which is impacting coal-handling and operations that could further lead to capacity load losses and impact supply. Further deterioration of plant performance may necessitate further stages of load shedding.

“At this stage, there is a high probability of load shedding until the end of the week. We continue to ask customers to reduce demand as part of a concerted, collective effort to lessen the level of load shedding. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience during this difficult period.”

Updates from Eskom

The cost of Eskom’s disastrous spell to our economy is almost unfathomable. It’s estimated that the loss to businesses and industries that battle with scheduled power cuts, stands at about R1-billion per stage, per day. On a day like today, Mzansi is likely to have R2-billion shaved off its GDP.

With a R450-billion debt bill hanging over its head, Eskom remains the biggest threat to progress in South Africa. The vultures have begun circling another state-owned entity in South African Airways (SAA), and they will also have one eye on the power utility’s current death spiral.

  • You can read the full statement from Eskom here:

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Presh JM Reporter

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