South Africans are in for a cold and dark weekend as load shedding will be increased to stage 4 from 1pm until 10pm on Saturday.
In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Eskom announced that stage 4 load shedding would be implemented from 1pm until 10pm, as well as from 8am until 10pm on Sunday.
According to Eskom, this is due to demand being higher than anticipated. Some units have tripped, the power utility said.
On Friday, Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding in a bid to preserve the emergency generation reserves. The stage 2 load shedding was expected to start at 8am until 10pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Eskom said the loss of two Hendrina and one Lethabo Power Station units since Saturday morning, together with demand currently 1 200MW higher than anticipated, have forced Eskom to increase loadshedding.
“At the current burn rate, diesel supplies would be depleted ahead of new stock arriving on Monday. This would result in higher stages of loadshedding. The ship will be offloading through Tuesday. Eskom must therefore preserve the current diesel stocks,” said Eskom in a statement released on Saturday.
Eskom has appealed to the public to help limit the impact of load shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items.
It urged all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially between 05:00 – 09:00 in the mornings and 16:00 – 22:00 in the evenings.