EskomSePush reveals areas with most and least power cuts

Popular load-shedding stage and schedule tracking app EskomSePush (ESP) has released a Load-shedding Wrap for 2023.

The feature is similar to music and video streaming services’ “Year in Review” reports but summarises some of the key data regarding the rotational power cuts in 2023.

To access it, users must update their Android or iOS ESP app to the latest version, tap on their suburb’s section, and select the “2023” yellow button with the party blower icon.

ESP will then present a slideshow similar to stories on Instagram or WhatsApp. The slides include data on load-shedding frequency, minutes, and stage trends in 2023.

A nice touch at the beginning of the slideshow is a short sound clip of spirited isiXhosa SuperSport commentary during a Currie Cup rugby match between the Western Cape and the Pumas in May 2023.

At around the 79th minute of the match, the stadium’s lights went out due to a backup generator not kicking in when load-shedding was implemented.

Load-shedding gets a distinction in 2023

Based on ESP’s data analysis at the time of the feature’s launch, South Africa experienced load-shedding for 82% of the year.

Eskom implemented 407,746 minutes of rotational power cuts — 86% longer than in any other year.

That works out to about 6,796 hours or 283 days by the time of the analysis.

The most common load-shedding level was stage 4, which was in effect for 80 days. Power cuts were at stage 3 for 74 days.

Stage 6 was in effect on 45 days, more days than those on which stage 1, stage 2, or stage 5 were implemented.

The screenshots below show some of these statistics as presented on ESP’s Load-shedding Wrap for 2023

The other data shown to users will vary based on the suburbs or areas they have loaded on the app for regularly checking schedules or getting notifications.

This provides interesting comparative data on how load-shedding differed between various suburbs, cities, and towns.

We viewed 11 suburbs or areas from South Africa’s major metros and capital cities to see which had the least and most load-shedding.

Suburbs in the North West capital of Mahikeng and Sandton in the City of Joburg had the highest number of load-shedding minutes and slots, closely followed by a Pretoria East suburb in the City of Tshwane.

The first two each had 701 load-shedding slots, of which 74 were four hours. The latter had 79 four-hour slots out of a total of 696 slots.

On the other side of the coin, a suburb in Polokwane curiously had 49% less load-shedding than the average.

Unsurprisingly, a suburb in Durban had 70% less load-shedding than the average because the city was exempt from the rotational power cuts until 25 May 2023.

Eskom afforded Durban this exemption because it had suffered substantial infrastructure damage in severe rain and flooding in April 2022.

All’s not fair in love and load-shedding

Eskom previously told MyBroadband that the differences in load-shedding frequency and length between cities were because each supplier was responsible and accountable for their own schedules and the execution thereof in line with NRS048-9 guidelines.

The state-owned power utility leaves the implementation of load-shedding up to each metro, with municipalities given guidance on how much demand they must remove from the grid during each load-shedding stage.

The amount that must be cut is measured as a proportion of a city’s typical demand — not a specific number of megawatts.

The table below shows how load-shedding differed in several suburbs from different cities and towns in the country’s nine provinces in 2023, according to data from ESP.

Worst and least load-shedding-affected suburbs in 11 major South African cities
Suburb and city/town Load-shedding minutes Load-shedding slots Four-hour slots More/less load-shedding than average
Mafikeng (Mahikeng) Town, Eskom Direct 114,030 701 74 Roughly the average
Sandton-West, City of Joburg 114,030 701 74 Roughly the average
Moreleta Park Ext 1, City of Tshwane 113,880 696 79 Roughly the average
Bloemfontein, Eskom Direct 111,720 692 66 2% less
Kimberley-North, Sol Plaatje Municipality 98,130 620 94 14% less
Strand, City of Cape Town 94,710 593 48 17% less
Korsten (Area 16) (9), Nelson Mandela Bay 86,850 579 0 24% less
Scotville (2), Pietermaritzburg 80,880 674 0 29% less
Nelspruit CBD, Mbombela 76,590 483 47 33% less
Bendor Centre, Polokwane City 58,560 488 0 49% less
Durban Beach Front, City of Ethekwini 34,800 290 0 70% less

Now read: Major load-shedding inverter company accused of breaking South African price laws

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EskomSePush reveals areas with most and least power cuts