Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom said on Monday it had, as earlier feared, been forced to effect more of the rolling power blackouts that have wracked the country over the past week as the national electricity grid comes under pressure.

"We are currently load shedding in Stage 2 due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations," Eskom said in a notice, adding this would continue until 10 pm.

It appealed to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly by, among other measures, switching off geysers and all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances.

Stage 2 load shedding refers to the process of deliberately reducing the national load by up to 2,000 MW through power cuts to avoid tripping the whole system due to too much demand and too little supply.

Eskom had earlier warned that the prognosis for rolling blackouts was high as a number of power generating units were still out of service due to breakdowns.

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African News Agency (ANA)