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Stage 7 till the ‘not too distant future’? Three things you need to know

Stage 7 till the ‘not too distant future’? Three things you need to know
A street vendor pushes carts of goods along an unlit road in Johannesburg during a rolling blackout on 13 February 2023. (Photo: Leon Sadiki / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It's been Stage 6 all the way since Tuesday – now we’re heading to Stage 7. Here are three things you need to know this week.

1. We’re heading to Stage 7

This Eskom report from 12 September shows that load shedding exceeded 6,362MW, which suggests we are heading to Stage 7 power cuts.

Eskom tweet about load shedding

Eskom’s spin doctors are likely to deny this because the load that is shed is a mix of rotational power cuts and ‘load containment’, where big users are instructed to cut for longer periods. But we can feel the intensity. Tori O’Regan explains what that could mean.

Stage 7 means that up to 7,000MW needs to be cut from the grid. Consumers can expect to be shed up to 12 times over four days: three times for two hours and nine times for four hours.
The national energy availability factor (EAF) is now at 52% for the year – far below the 75% Eskom pencilled in for the final quarter of 2023. Cabinet issued the lamest statement I’ve yet seen on the latest painful power cuts. “Cabinet was assured that the current implementation of increased stages of load shedding is a short-term phase as Eskom prepares for sustained and lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future.” Spoken by people with generators we pay for and who do not feel the pain of power cuts.

Read the full statement by the Ministry in the Presidency.

2. Discovery launches green energy trader

Discovery has launched a green energy trading company to help businesses buckling under power cuts. It is designed to create a new energy trading market to help companies bring down their carbon footprints while ensuring steady supply.

Most recent major results show that intense power cuts are costing billions and being passed on to consumers. Reader Dave Martin says that from early releases, Discovery is claiming it can supply 100% clean energy for the same price as Eskom does. This would be huge. Dave asks important questions about battery size and storage capabilities. I will try for an interview with Discovery about its plans.

3. Electricity minister promises a Kusile fix by end of the year

Onke Ngcuka went to Kusile on Monday. If this albatross of a power station around the neck of energy supply can be fixed as promised, it does offer a better outlook. Chris Yelland reminded the Daily Investor that Kusile has cost us R233-billion over 15 years and is contributing zero watts to the grid. And nobody’s gone to jail for it yet.

Neesa Moodley had better news on the investment front. Private equity firms are lining up to support energy investments, mostly in post-fossil fuel companies.

There’s a R1-trillion opportunity for banks in helping people and businesses access the power of the sun, Neesa also reported. South Africa is tallying up the potential power of micro-grids and small-scale embedded generation. DM

Read more: Kusile Power Station units to come online by end of the year, says Ramokgopa

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Peter Holmes says:

    Of these three “things”, one and two are fact. Number three is a promise/assertion by an ANC politician so is actually irrelevant in terms of any strategic move to deal with the current electricity supply situation, which is only going to worsen.

  • hilton smith says:

    The private sector and individuals have imported a power stations worth of solar panels in the last few months. So what stage would we be in if our private sector wasn’t spending billions of their own money to minimize their reliance on Eskom.

    • Roy Haines says:

      I shudder to think!

    • Con Tester says:

      What’s perhaps even more concerning here is that increased load-shirking, coupled with privately-owned renewables, chiefly solar PV, is that it signals a financial death spiral for Ekskrom. Traditional electricity payers are also the first ones to reduce or eliminate their reliance on Ekskrom because they can afford to do so, while non-payers will continue to steal electricity. Thus, Ekskrom’s revenue stream is slowly drying up.

      In the longer term, this will only prompt the ANC nanowits to think up ever more devious ways of keeping the public purse well stuffed so that they keep feeding their larcenous appetites.

  • Brian Cotter says:

    “Cabinet was assured that the current implementation of increased stages of load shedding is a short-term phase as Eskom prepares for sustained and lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future.”
    Spin doctoring is not putting a time frame for short -term.
    Do we take it in African Time terms of maybe this year or next year or
    Brakpna terminology of now, just now or now now.
    Also – “lessened stages of load shedding in the not-so-distant future” – This year, next year, next decade

  • John B says:

    Load Shedding is not going away whilst the ANC is in charge, they can’t fix it as they don’t have the required skill to run a country.

    They are however very skilled at breaking things which used to work, e.g. Eskom, SAA, Transnet, Armscor, SA Nuclear Energy Corporation etc.

  • Denise Smit says:

    If you use a generator you also need money to pay for the diesel or petrol to run the generator. Do you know how much this costs today. The ministers are also not paying for this and us the citizens and businesses must also fund this – there has been much from P & P and other’s commenting on the cost for business. Because our ministers do not pay for anything and they can not do or understand budgets, they really do not know what the real cost is to us out here , far from their isolated cushioned space. Denise Smit

  • William Kelly says:

    As more and more make their own plans Eksom becomes less and less relevant and will end up with fewer paying customers. It’s monopoly is ending, no matter what the cANCer may or may not want for it. Same will happen for water and, when it dawns on the Muppets to tax air, that too will elude their grasp. Starve the beast.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    These mamparras at Eksdom really need (like others in this world such as the ex-Loser, sorry Leader, of the Free World) to remember that old bit of advice that “When you’re in a hole, stop freaking well digging!”. They’re already a joke for the way they and the ANC have messed this country up the last 16 years or so with loadshedding/thievery, and it seems they keep on doing it day by day (hour by hour?) by moving the goalposts so often that we haven’t really got a clue when the power is going to be on or off.

  • Senzo Moyakhe says:

    Painful Reality: The capital cost of repairing/reinstalling damaged assets due to cable theft, there’s a BIGGER obvious threat to electricity provision for the SA population. The government is well aware of the level of electricity theft that goes on in our townships, cables dangling from power poles amongst other forms only the blind cannot see. Do a drone flight over our ‘informal settlements’ and you’ll be shocked by the number of satellite TV dishes there are on these ‘informal residences’. TV needs power to run but who is paying for that electricity seeing as there is no installed infrastructure supplying that power. Put aside the fact that electricity theft is not criminalised in SA (please tell me why) the political will to deal with the issue does not exist. There is the obvious hard issue of the violence outbreak but there is the softer issue of voter depression as well.

  • Pamela Khumelo says:

    I know I’m not supposed to post this here but I just want to teach 10 people how to make upto R93,000 within seven days (7days) of trading with luno trade pty without sending money to anyone! Kindly inbox me on WhatsApp for more information on how to get started
    (No scam ❌ or games here)

    +27 64 936 1416

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