Load Shedding in South Africa

In an attempt to prevent severe blackouts, Eskom, South Africa’s largest electric utility company, has initiated its process of “load shedding”. The idea of load shedding may be a confusing concept for some, but for the members of our South Africa office, this has become a regular occurrence in their daily lives. It is important to understand this process and how it affects South African citizens.

Simply put, load shedding happens when an area’s electricity supply is reduced or limited in order to avoid overloading generators. During this process, Eskom schedules regular blackouts in order to protect the electricity power system. Load shedding comes in eight stages, each with a different set of planned blackouts throughout the country. Stages 1-4 are implemented through most parts of the country in 2-hour blocks. Whereas stages 5-8 are increased to 4-hour blocks throughout most parts of the country. Each scheduled stage also has an additional 30 minutes added onto each shedding period to ensure the switching of networks occurs correctly.

  • Stage One load shedding means that up to 1000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Citizens can expect to be shed up to 3 times over the course of four days for two hours at a time, or for 3 times over an eight-day span for four hours at a time.
  • Stage Two load shedding means that up to 2000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Users can expect to be shed up to 6 times over a four-day span for two hours at a time, or 6 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage Three load shedding means that up to 3000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Citizens can expect to be shed up to 9 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 9 times over an eight-day span for four hours at a time.
  • Stage Four load shedding means that up to 4000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Users can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
  • Stage Five load shedding means that up to 5000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Citizens can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period: 9 times for 2 hours at a time and 3 times for 4 hours at a time.
  • Stage Six load shedding means that 6000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Users can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period: 6 times for 2 hours at a time, and 6 times for 4 hours at a time.
  • Stage Seven load shedding means that up to 7000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Users can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period: 3 times for 2 hours at a time, and 9 times for 4 hours at a time.
  • And finally, Stage Eight load shedding means that up to 8000MW of capacity needs to be shed. Citizens can expect to be shed up to 12 times over a four-day period for four hours at a time.

Load shedding is an impactful event and it continues to affect the members of our South Africa office regularly. Load shedding has been an ongoing occurrence since 2014 and grows more impactful each year. To follow along with current load shedding you can refer to https://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/loadshedding/Index for shedding statuses, schedules, and more.

The above article only intends to provide general financial information and is based on open-source facts, it is not designed to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. It does not give personalized tax, financial, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any form of action, you should consult a financial professional who understands your particular situation. CKH Group will not be held liable for any harm/errors/claims arising from the articles. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents we will not be held accountable for any changes that are beyond our control.

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