IPP amendments not an immediate answer to Eskom's winter demand woes

Energy expert Lungile Mashele said hospitals, industries, and homes were now competing for electricity for life-saving machines, manufacturing, and space heating.

FILE: Demand for electricity always increases in winter as people turn on their heaters and fire up stoves to make comfort food.. Picture: @CityPowerJhb/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – The news of the relaxation of schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to allow providers to generate more power without having to go through a long-drawn-out licencing process might be welcome, but it's not likely to save us from a gruelling and dark winter.

Energy experts have warned of an increase in blackouts in the coming weeks.

READ: Ramaphosa eases red tape for independent power providers to generate power

Demand for electricity always increases in winter as people turn on their heaters and fire up stoves to make comfort food.

With the added load of equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19, it’s got even worse.

Energy expert Lungile Mashele said hospitals, industries, and homes were now competing for electricity for life-saving machines, manufacturing, and space heating.

ALSO READ: Proposed changes to power regulations will pay off in long run - energy experts

Eskom has been clear that the power supply will remain constrained, but this week it sprung stage 4 load shedding on citizens with just a few hour’s notice.

“Eskom needs to come clean and be transparent about what is happening. You cannot have a system, and this is absolute failure, where you move from stage 2 load shedding to stage 4 – in one afternoon – then the next morning then we are told ‘ok, we are going to stage 2’ and then an hour later we are told it's stage 3.”

Mashele said the intensified blackouts were bad news for the country’s ailing infrastructure, as some residents could be without electricity for an average of six hours a day.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.