Following weeks of rolling blackouts, Eskom has decided to give us a bit of a break. On Wednesday 9 September, it said load shedding that was expected to kick in later in the day, would be suspended.
LOAD SHEDDING CANCELLED ON WEDNESDAY BUT WHAT LIES AHEAD ON THURSDAY?
While Eskom didn't release an official statement, it took to Twitter saying that one would be released later in the day.
According to a previous communication from the power utility, Mzansi was expecting Stage 1 load shedding on Wednesday in the late afternoon due to two generation units having to be taken offline but now that has changed, thanks to a steady generation supply.
"There will be no load shedding for this evening as the generation supply situation has significantly improved. A full statement with tomorrow's update will be issued later today," it said.
As for Thursday 10 September, we have no idea what's in store for us. While we're always hoping for a downgrade of sorts, Eskom could drop a bomb at any moment. Like it always says, the system is "unreliable" and "vulnerable" and therefore, rolling blackouts could occur at short notice.
We'll hold onto the hope that Eskom will release a positive statement later on Wednesday.
ESKOM SHORT BILLIONS
While the power utility suspended load shedding due to increased generation supply, it's not out of the woods by any means. Eskom's submission to the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) revealed some shocking figures on Wednesday 2 September.
According to its presentation, the power utility is suffering a shortfall of R350 billion based on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa's) tariff decisions, which ultimately means that despite rolling blackouts and a pandemic that still exists, South Africans may need to fork out some more.
According to Eskom, its debt continues to grow despite price hikes, pointing to the fact that prices may need to be increased. A recent electricity tariff benchmark didn't make the situation any better for Mzansi's consumers as it indicated that Eskom's price of electricity is one of the lowest in the world.
To add salt to the wound, Stats SA released the second-quarter's GDP figure which was shocking, to say the least. A whopping 51% drop was reported, a decline which hasn't been recorded since 1960.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have released plans for economic recovery, there is lots of work to do before we see improvement.