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What happens to South Africa if the Eskom grid collapses?

9 November 2021 11:08 AM
Tags:
Eskom
Loadshedding
Stellenbosch University
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Thinus Booysen
blackout
Eskom Grid

The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews Prof Thinus Booysen of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (SU).
  • We hate loadshedding, but it’s the only thing standing between us and a total collapse of the grid which would plunge the country into darkness for weeks

  • A collapse of the grid leading to a total blackout will take 30 to 60 seconds if it happens – then there will be no electricity from the grid anywhere for weeks

  • Such a blackout has occurred in a number of countries before – it is a possibility here


Picture: somchai999/123rf.com

RELATED: 'André de Ruyter has had enough time. Fire him, and the Eskom board!'


The Eskom crisis is intensifying.

Since election day, South Africa has hardly had reliable electricity at all.

The Eskom grid is extremely vulnerable; what does that mean, and what happens if it collapses?

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Professor Thinus Booysen of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch (scroll up to listen).

Booysen explained in much detail how the grid operates, and why a collapse could plunge the entire country into darkness for weeks.

The whole grid operates on 50 hertz… When demand outstrips supply, that 50 hertz go down slightly… If generators… can’t bear the brunt they start to turn off… One by one, the generators will shut down if nothing is done to demand. Then we have a blackout… Getting everything up and running again will take, maybe more than two weeks…

Professor Thinus Booysen, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - University of Stellenbosch

Loadshedding… if we don’t do it, we’ll be in deep trouble, where we don’t have any electricity for two weeks, and you can just imagine what that’s going to do to our country…

Professor Thinus Booysen, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - University of Stellenbosch

It [blackout] is definitely not impossible. The really scary thing is, if it happens, it’s going to take 30 to 60 seconds to occur. Every time there is an unscheduled blackout, I go into a state of panic… It has happened in India, Brazil, Canada, the States…

Professor Thinus Booysen, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - University of Stellenbosch

The national control centre in Germiston really deserves praise…

Professor Thinus Booysen, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - University of Stellenbosch

We’re running these things [old coal-fired power stations] as hot as we can without maintaining them… We’re paying the debts of years gone by…

Professor Thinus Booysen, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - University of Stellenbosch

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : What happens to South Africa if the Eskom grid collapses?




9 November 2021 11:08 AM
Tags:
Eskom
Loadshedding
Stellenbosch University
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Thinus Booysen
blackout
Eskom Grid

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