Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger warned that unless they manage the current electricity situation, there is a risk of a total blackout in South Africa which can last for weeks.
Over the weekend Eskom implemented stage 3 load shedding, and Etzinger highlighted that there is still the option to move to stage 4 if needed.
According to Eskom’s site, Stage 3 load shedding allows for up to 4000MW of the national electricity load to be shed, and Stage 4 would move beyond that.
Currently, Etzinger said, Eskom wasn’t shedding beyond 3000MW.
“We hope not to go to stage 4 as we did in 2008,” he told SABC news. However, he said that stage 4 load shedding will be implemented if it is necessary to protect the grid.
“This is a controlled process by Eskom to make sure we do not risk a national blackout,” said Etzinger.
He pointed out that even in a dire situation of 2008, there was not a complete blackout. However, if Eskom does not manage the situation, there is a risk of a blackout.
Etzinger said that in South Africa it will possibly take weeks to re-start the grid after a complete blackout.
He said that the outlook for the next two to three years is not good, but it does not mean daily or weekly load shedding.
“What it does mean is that our reserve margin is going to be thinner than what we would like,” said Etzinger.