Eskom provided one hour’s notice on Wednesday afternoon that load-shedding would be ramped up to stage 4 as of 3pm.
This, said the power utility, was due to “exceptionally high demand” with cold weather placing additional demand on the grid. The power cuts will continue into the weekend.
Load-shedding at stage 4 will continue until 10pm.
“Due to the continuing severe generation supply constraints caused by multiple unit breakdowns, as well as the additional demand caused by the cold weather, Eskom will escalate the level of load-shedding,” the power utility said in a statement.
Eskom regrets to announce that loadshedding will move from Stage 2 to stage 4 at 15:00 until 22:00 tonight, due to exceptionally high demand. Statement to follow shortly
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) September 2, 2020
“Load-shedding will persist throughout the weekend as Eskom teams work around the clock to return as many of these generation units to service as possible. Eskom will continue to communicate the stage of load-shedding should there be any further developments.”
The embattled utility said load-shedding was necessary to conserve and replenish its emergency reserves while also maintaining the stability of the power system.
Eskom teams had returned to service a generation unit each at Tutuka, Komati, Hendrina and Camden power stations. However, two additional units suffered breakdowns at Matla and Kriel power stations.
“Unplanned breakdowns amount to 11,300MW of capacity, adding to the 5,040MW currently out on planned maintenance.”