Eskom's outlook for this summer indicates that South Africans can expect lower stages of load shedding towards the end of the year and early 2024.
This was revealed by Eskom Acting Group Chief Executive, Calib Cassim, during the power utility's State of the System media briefing held on Wednesday.
According to Cassim, Eskom anticipates a lower Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor [UCLF] - or unplanned breakdowns - over the summer period.
However, Cassim warned that the power utility does not rule out load shedding stages rising.
"Our base case of 14 500MW [UCLF] shows a maximum of Stage 4 load shedding in terms of the outlook. Does it mean we are saying that there'll be no stage 6? No we are not saying that. If the unplanned outages increase to the outer scenarios of 17 500MW, then you would utilise Stage 6 to protect the integrity of the grid," Cassim said on Wednesday.
The acting CEO explained why the power utility believes that it can achieve a UCLF of 14 500MW over the coming months.
"In winter, the average UCLF was around 16 500MW. This outlook for summer is... 14 500MW. Why are we saying that? The fundamental point is that you are bringing back over 2 000MW [at] Kusile... the three units plus unit 5. That is why we are confident with the 14 500MW.
"In doing this outlook of these scenarios, we, on the Kusile side, had the assumptions of these units returning from the temporary stacks, coming online at the end of November and December.
"From a management perspective, yes we've got our base case, [but] we are making every effort to reduce below 14 500 MW," he said.
Cassim apologised to the nation for the load shedding currently facing the country.
"Eskom does apologise for the inconvenience to the economy and livelihoods and the impact it's having on everyone in the country and the impact on the GDP.
"But let's also understand and appreciate that we implement load shedding to manage the system to avoid a blackout," he said.