Eskom loadshedding schedule is provided by Eskom. Established in 1923, Eskom Holdings SOC is an electricity public utility company that provides electricity infrastructure and manages its supply. At the time, the company went by the name of Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM). However, the locals reffered to it by its Afrikaans name, Elektrisiteitsvoorsieningskommissie (EVKOM). Presently, it is the largest state-owned enterprise in South Africa. Beyond South Africa, it tops the list of the highest capacity energy producers in Africa.
However, the company faces two setbacks in its everyday business of supplying electricity to South Africans. One is the high demand for the commodity. The other setback is faulty infrastructure. So, they do regular loadshedding to ensure they meet the demand. Loadshedding is when electricity companies cut off electricity supply in different regions to deal with inadequate supply or mitigate a problem that puts the entire system at risk.
How to Read the LoadShedding Schedule
Eskom provides loadshedding schedules for different suburbs, towns, and cities in South Africa. These loadshedding schedules are posted on the Municipal Loadshedding schedules webpage on Eskom’s official website. You should know how to read these schedules to find out when your city, town, or suburb will have a power outage caused by load shedding at Eskom.
Steps When Reading Eskom Loadshedding Schedule
- On the Municipal Loadshedding schedules page, click on the button with your province on its label.
- The next page your device loads will have a list of the municipalities in your province. On this next page, click on your municipality. Clicking your municipality activates a drop-down menu with different towns and suburbs.
- After you select your town or suburb, you will get a pdf that shows a full month’s load shedding schedule from Eskom.
Understanding Eskom Loadshedding Schedule
Eskom loadshedding schedule is in the form of a pdf file. Once you open it, you will see a table with different elements. The table has days of the month and different periods for a day in it. Note that there are 31 days on the schedule. Whenever you want to find out the schedule for a month with fewer days than the days on the schedule, disregard the extra days.
The table also has numbers inside boxes that are shaded blue. These boxes represent what Eskom calls stages. The stages are the various levels that the company can put the outages. The higher the stage, the more the level, and the higher the level, the longer the outages take during the day. Those are the two most important elements of the table.
Other elements in the table include name of the province, municipality, and suburb or town. In addition to this first table, there is a second table outlining what the different stages represent. Below these two tables is an example of how to read the schedule. Immediately below that, you will find notes on Eskom’s loadshedding schedule, which are the last elements of this table.
Whenever Eskom is set to enforce a loadshedding, they announce the suburbs, towns, or cities that will be affected and the stage that will be enforced for each day. These announcements are usually aired on the news and posted on Eskom’s official social media pages.
A stage is an indication of the periods during which you should expect to have no lights. They are marked on the table in the pdf. Stage 1 has only the duration (time period on the table in the 24-hour clock system) marked for stage 1 in the table. Stage 2 has durations for both stages 1 and 2 within it. Stage 3 has durations for stage 1, 2, and 3 within it. Stage 4 has durations for stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. Stage 5 has durations for stage 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 within it. Stage 6 has durations for stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Stage 7 has stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in it. And finally, stage 8 includes durations for stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and stage 8.
Consequently, the higher the stage of load shedding announced, the more time in the day your area will experience power outages. Once you know the stage, you can refer to the table for your specific suburb, town, or city to find out the specific times during the day. Those times are indicated by the blue boxes with numbers in them. Those numbers represent the stages of load shedding.
Reading for 1st of Every Month for Cathcart
The following example is from Cathcart in Amahlathi Municipality in the larger Eastern Cape Province to help you understand. It is the first town under the first municipality in the first province (Eastern Cape) on the list. The example shows the 1st of every month. On this day, Cathcart has six stages which can be declared by Eskom. If you read it correctly, you should have the following readings:
- Stage 1, in which you will have a power outage from 01:00 to 03:00.
- Stage 3, in which you will have the outage from 01:00 to 03:00 and from 17:00 to 19:30.
- Stage 4, in which you will have an outage from 09:00 to 11:30, from 01:00 to 03:00, and from 17:00 to 19:30.
- Stage 5, in which you will have an outage from 03:00 to 05:30, 09:00 to 11:30, from 01:00 to 03:00, and from 17:00 to 19:30.
- Stage 7, in which you will have an outage from 03:00 to 05:30, 09:00 to 11:30, from 01:00 to 03:00, from 17:00 to 19:30, and from 19:30 to 21:30.
- Stage 8 in which you will have an outage from 03:00 to 05:30, from 09:00 to 11:30, from 11:00 to 13:30, from 01:00 to 03:00, from 17:00 to 19:30 and from 19:30 to 21:30.
The information provided in this article is by no means conclusive or final. It is meant to inform you, as the reader, about the load shedding schedule that Eskom has set as of the date of publication. It is subject to change by Eskom. For more information, visit the official Eskom Distribution website.