File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media.

JOHANNESBURG - Stage one rotational load shedding will continue from 9am until 11pm on Saturday, but some of the problems could be resolved by Sunday, state-owned power utility Eskom said.

The electricity system remained under severe pressure with several generation units being out of service. Recovery efforts were under way to "fix coal handling issues at Medupi" and to expedite the return of units that experienced technical problems, Eskom said in a statement.

"Our emergency response command centre will be meeting early [on Saturday] to assess the progress overnight and the prognosis for the weekend and coming week. We hope to have recovered adequately by Sunday so that South Africans can enjoy watching the Springboks playing in the World Cup.

We will keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system and our recovery efforts throughout this period."

Eskom customers could check their load shedding schedules on the Eskom website (loadshedding.eskom.co.za) or through the customer contact centre on 086-003-7566 and municipal customers could check their load shedding schedules on the municipal websites or consult their municipalities.

Eskom appealled to customers to continue to use electricity sparingly throughout the day by setting air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23ºC; using energy efficient light bulbs; using the cold water tap rather than the geyser every time; setting swimming pool pump cycles to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use; and at the end of the day turning off computers, copiers, printers, and fax machines at the switch, thus avoiding stand-by or sleep mode.

"Eskom sincerely apologises to our customers and South Africans for the inconvenience caused," the statement said.

African News Agency