This means that the people of South Africa can look forward to 2 hours, twice a day, of power supply loss any time from 09.00 until 22.00.
The Western Cape, particularly, is still reeling from the effects of severe drought conditions which have battered its once buoyant economy. It can ill afford more economic pain.
Coal is running out
CEO Phakamani Hadebo reports only 10 days supply of coal left, reporting to NERSA ( National Energy Regulator of South Africa). Supplies of coal available to South African Coal power stations are down to a meagre 10 days. This is 50% of the 20 day supply, which the regulator says it should always have available to power stations.
NERSA’s response was one of “Grave Concern” that the country could be plunged into a total blackout situation. In other words, Stage 3. Eskom’s announcement that stage two load shedding would commence on Dec. 1 gives validity to those concerns.
Hadebo claims a new contract has been signed and supply will normalise again by the end of 2018. He makes no prediction on supply or if stage 3 – all day black, out will be implemented.
The Guptas’ influence raises it head again
Why is there a shortage of supply of coal to Eskom? A deal was struck between Tegata Exploration and Resources and Eskom to supply all of the the coal to South Africa’s power stations. They where given the sole responsibility for the supply and flow of coal.
The Company with recognised close links to the Gupta family is now under a “Business Rescue” plan, leaving Eskom without continuity of a coal supply. Once again, regular South Africans pay for Eskoms mismanagement and questionable contracts.
Economic costs to the Western Cape
Chris Yelland, an energy expert, predicts that the stage one load shedding, the reduction of available power of 1000 MW per month, will cost 20 billion rand per month. Stage two, which doubles the load shedding to 2000 MW per month, will double the economic pain and cost 40 billion rand per month. He gives no prediction for total black out, that being stage 3 all day power cuts.
South Africa’s economy cannot afford to be discredited any further. Zuma reduced its credit rating to “Junk” status and Ramaphosa has an uphill task regaining global economic confidence.
As early as February 2015, economist Mike Schussler predicted the dire economic effect of load shedding on the South African economy after the 2014 crisis in which the Majuba Power station lost all of its capacity. This was followed by the Western Cape’s nuclear power station at Koeburg experiencing serious technical difficulties due to improper maintenance.