Load-shedding in the time of coronavirus

Media Hack Collective has released a new report titled “Load-shedding in the time of Coronavirus” which looks at load-shedding trends from January 2015 to March 2020.

The report, which used data collected by EskomSePush (ESP) since January 2015, visualised load-shedding in South Africa over the past six years.

It revealed that South Africa was on track for a record year of load-shedding in mid-March, but the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown has seemingly put an end to that.

With South Africa in lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, load-shedding has stopped because of a decrease in electricity demand.

While the load-shedding that characterised the first few months of 2020 has come to an end for the moment, the year started off poorly.

On 15 March the country had already seen almost 24 days’ worth of power cuts, the second highest annual total for the past six years. This was after only two-and-a-half months of the year.

[See the full report here]

Load-shedding charts since 2015

The chart below shows the number of hours of load-shedding implemented by Eskom in recent years and the various stages of each period.

The “hours” were calculated by adding up all the hours of each load-shedding stage during the year.

“We then divided that by 24 to get an approximation of the days of load-shedding,” Media Hack explains.

83 days in 2015 does not mean there were 83 days with some form of load-shedding. Instead, it shows the load-shedding periods were equivalent to 83 days if run back-to-back.

The entire country was also not equally affected. Some areas were more heavily affected than others.

It should also be noted that not all areas in the country were without power for each of these durations equally.


Load-shedding in 2015


2016 and 2017

There was no load-shedding in 2016 and 2017, so these years have been excluded.


Load-shedding in 2018


Load-shedding in 2019


Load-shedding in 2020


Now read: Eskom load-shedding will not go away after the lockdown

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Load-shedding in the time of coronavirus