Picture: Antoine de Ras/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

CAPE TOWN - The possibility of load shedding over the weekend was high despite lower demand during this period, Eskom said on Friday.

The power utility implemented Stage 2 load shedding on Friday in a bid to shed 2,000 megawatts (MW) of power to prevent a collapse of the system. 

In a statement, Eskom said there was currently a severe lack of supply. 

"Generation plant is out on planned maintenance and there is a higher than expected number of units (currently at approximately 10,000 MW) on unplanned maintenance due to technical faults," the statement said.

"Cahora Bassa hydropower plant is still supplying 700 MW less to the grid as a result of a damaged transmission line, which occurred late on Wednesday. There is also a need to preserve emergency water and diesel resources to limit the load shedding possibility or magnitude thereof in the following week."

Eskom is facing maintenance backlogs and coal shortages. It implemented Stage 1 load shedding on Thursday and has warned that the country will likely see more planned outages for the remainder of the year.

Electricity users are advised to check their load shedding schedules to ascertain during which times the power will be off in their respective areas. 

The load shedding schedule can be found at http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za or by calling Eskom's customer contact centre at 0860 037 566.

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African News Agency (ANA)