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Eskom explains load-shedding and load curtailment

Eskom on Wednesday denied exceeding stage 4 load-shedding limits.

This after energy expert Ted Blom said the power utility had exceeded stage 4 load-shedding in September, which allows for up to 4,000MW of the national load to be shed.

According to Blom, more than 5,000MW was shed on September 2 and 3.

“Above 5,000MW to 6,000MW, that is scheduled stage 6,” he said.

Blom said there was a significant difference between stage 4 and stage 6 load-shedding.

He said at stage 6,  Eskom was unable to supply 20% of the demand for electricity.

However, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha denied the allegations.


Mantshantsha said every evening Eskom publishes performance statistics on social media and in the media, adding that the statistics are published for Eskom to be transparent.

“Eskom has always shed exactly what it said it would. If we said we would implement stage 4 load-shedding, we would reduce by 4,000MW. Eskom has been admitting for a while that it has a capacity problem and that it is unable to fully supply power to the country.”

Mantshantsha said load curtailment should also be taken into account when load-shedding is implemented.

He said when Eskom declares stage 4 load-shedding, it can request any major industrial consumer, such as mines and smelters, to curtail up to 20% of load. According to Mantshantsha, this is for a maximum of two hours.

Mantshantsha said this amounted to 1,200MW of demand, which formed part of the licensed load curtailment.  

“For years Eskom has been doing it and it pays these companies not to produce for those two hours. The companies are compensated.

“That 1,200MW adds to what we have already obtained from the public. If you add that 1,200MW with the 4,000MW that we load-shed from the public in stage 4, you get to the 5,000MW Ted Blom is talking about.”