Eskom has confirmed that it will implement Stage 6 load shedding from 4pm until 10pm today, with Stage 4 to continue until midnight.
Load shedding will then be reduced to Stage 2 until 5am on Wednesday morning and then increased to Stage 4 from 5am to 4pm.
Stage 6 load shedding will then again be implemented from 4pm to 10pm on Wednesday evening.
The extremity of the load shedding schedule and sudden implementation of higher stages is due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants.
The power utility said this strike action by aggrieved staff has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve generation capacity and safeguard its plants from damage.
“There is a high risk that the stage of load shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant. Eskom continues to closely monitor the system, adjust and communicate any changes as may be necessary.
“We appeal to all South Africans to help limit the impact of the shortages by continuing to reduce the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
He explained that while three of the 10 generation units that had tripped during the night have been returned to service, it was still insufficient to stave off the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding for this evening and tomorrow evening.
Eskom currently has 3 218MW of planned maintenance, while another 17 621MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
“We would like to remind the public that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system,” Mantshantsha said.