By Kouthar Sambo
Energy Experts refuted claims that South Africa’s power crisis, with increased load shedding stages, is caused by alleged sabotage.
This comes after the African National Congress’ (ANC) Secretary General Fikile Mbalula posted on platform X, formerly known as Twitter, claiming that Stage 6 load shedding is “clear sabotage.”
However, experts believe that Eskom’s unreliable fleet and aging infrastructure could be the issue.
Speaking on VOC’s DriveTime show on Monday, energy analyst and Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg, Professor Hartmut Winkler, said Eskom lost approximately 4 400 megawatts of generating power in a relatively short period.
“That is a little more than four stages of load shedding, which precipitated the move from, what was, Stage 2 to Stage 6 load shedding,” explained Winkler.
We cannot conclude without further evidence that this was caused by sabotage, said Winkler.
“We happen to have several consecutive breakdowns at random, so one needs to look at the monthly average of load shedding. This will give us a better idea as to whether or not we are moving out of the load shedding crisis,” proclaimed Winkler.
Winkler added that the time frames given by several ministers predicting the end of load shedding over months are rather unrealistic.
“We need to look at time scales of about five years. If we can improve by one stage of load shedding on average a year, then this would be regarded as a success,” added Winkler.
“Things could get worse if we had some major disasters – if one of our big plants has problems, such as the Kusile Power Station, which lost half of its generating capacity in 2022, then it is not going to be easy. However, we are in a deep pit, and we will only be able to get out of that pit one step at a time,” reiterated Winkler.