Chairman of the Management Committee of National Rationalised Specifications (NRS) Association of South Africa, Vally Padayachee, says the country remains very distant from an electrical blackout even in the face of higher stages of load shedding.
Padayachee was speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, in Tshwane.
“To give assurance to the media and the public that migrating into a blackout situation and a potential national grid collapse though technically is not impossible but it is virtually not probable at all.
“After all …it has not happened in South Africa to date in 100 years of Eskom’s existence …we have never had a total blackout in the country. Hence we can give you the assurance that we’re still far away from a blackout let alone a grid collapse,” he said.
Padayachee emphasised that even as higher stages of load shedding are implemented, this does not automatically bring a potential for a blackout.
“The Eskom System Operator does have plans and they test the plans regularly …they get audited by NERSA as well,” he assured.
He further stressed that even though a system blackout is highly unlikely, the NRS with NERSA is developing a document – NRS 048-9 Edition 3 – which will legally provide for load shedding up to Stage 16, “not in anticipation but to allow the power utility to prepare adequately should it be needed.”
According to Padayachee, the document went through rigorous and extensive consultations with over 100 comments from organisations and people.