On 11 December 2019, Eskom issued a notice “to correct fictitious and misleading information, and explained that load shedding is “a controlled and responsible act implemented to prevent a national blackout.”
Load shedding for ‘extending periods of time’
“Eskom is aware of several messages being circulated via social and digital media indicating that there won’t be electricity in South Africa for extended periods of time. These are false and misleading.”
The power utility assured concerned citizens that load shedding is undertaken by Eskom and municipal electricity authorities in terms of the regulatory code as approved by the National Energy Regulator of SA (NERSA).
“[Load shedding] is managed on a rotational basis for a period of between two and four hours at a time, depending on which schedule the customer is on, on a particular day.”
Eskom parody accounts spreading fake news
Furthermore, the power utility urges customers to stay up to date with load shedding schedules and only to follow Eskom’s official accounts as there are several parody accounts bent on spreading false information.
“Eskom is also aware of Eskom parody accounts being used to spread fake news. Eskom will continue to provide regular updates about the state of the power system through various media and social media platforms.”
It is up to each South African to fact check suspicious news claims before sharing fake news on social media; and to verify that the information comes from an official source. Eskom’s official handles are as follows:
Kwagga substation fire
In addition, author of the Bosasa Billions and Steinhoff and die Stellenbosse Boys, James Styan, assured South Africans that the fire at Kwagga substation does not affect Eskom’s national grid.
This follows after several reports were shared online, stating that South Africa would be left in the dark for extended periods of time after the fire at the substation. City of Tshwane issued regular updates throughout the day.
“Fake news circulating about Kwagga substation fire in Tshwane. It does NOT affect [Eskom] national grid and there’s NO threat of stage 8 load shedding or any impact on ESKOM. Only impact is on Tshwane supply.”
Notice to correct fictitious and misleading information pic.twitter.com/UD0MjWq5Zt
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) December 10, 2019