SA Reserve Bank predicts 200 days of load shedding this year

The South African Reserve Bank has warned residents and business that they can expect around 200 days of load shedding in 2024.

This was revealed in the Monetary Policy Review for April.

South Africans can expect to see a decrease in load shedding over the next three years, according to the Sarb.

The Sarb projects load-shedding to shave 0.6, 0.2 and 0.04 percentage points from growth in 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.

This is lower than the 0.8 and 0.4 percentage points for 2024 and 2025 respectively that was said by the bank back in October 2023.

The Sarb acknowledged that despite this good news the grid remains fragile, as demonstrated by the ramp-up in load-shedding around the middle of February this year.

“Despite remaining a serious risk to growth, electricity supply is expected to gradually improve, as alternative energy sources expand and are added to the grid by Eskom,” according to the Reserve Bank.

In 2024, there is uncertainty around the reliability of electricity supply as the grid remains fragile amid still-elevated unplanned outages, according to the bank. This was illustrated earlier this year when the country experienced bouts of Stage 6 load-shedding.

The Reserve Bank’s outlook for load-shedding over the coming years. Picture: Sarb

Eskom to keep load shedding at Stage 2 this winter

Eskom said that it plans to maintain load shedding at Stage 2 this winter.

This was revealed by Eskom chief executive Dan Marokane during a media briefing on Friday.

“For winter 2024, the likely scenario from our assumptions is that load shedding will be maintained within Stage 2 at most. In the extreme case where the unreliability increases, that component may occasionally go to Stage 5, but we really think that on the basis of what we see, the performance of the fleet and load shedding will stay within Stage 2,” he added.