Eskom load shedding jumps to stage 4 on Friday

Eskom says it will implement stage 4 load shedding on Friday from 14h00, which is expected to continue through to the early hours of Saturday morning.

Stage 4 allows for as much as 4,000MW (around 10% of the national capacity) to be cut from the national grid.

This follows the power utility having to extend load shedding on Thursday to the early hours of Friday morning, and stage 2 load shedding hitting from 09h00 on Friday.

Initially planned for between 16h00 and 23h00 on Thursday, Eskom continued to lose generating capacity during the night, forcing it to extend the load shedding hours.

As the group’s system remains extremely constrained, with unplanned outages exceeding 12,500MW, it will be forced to continue load shedding with extended hours.

Eskom initially said that it was using diesel to ensure the stages do not escalate – of which is has sufficient supply – but it was unable to replenish its water resources overnight. These issues have persisted, leading to the rise in stages.

Load shedding has been a lingering threat in South Africa since Eskom’s systems collapsed in the first quarter of the year, doing massive damage to the economy.

Bloomberg reported that the impact of load shedding on the economy ranged between R1 billion and R5 billion a day.

The Department of Energy, National Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises have been working since then to maintain the volatile balance between supply and demand on the network.

Before winter, Eskom outlined a plan to keep the lights on for the remainder of 2019; a plan that hinged on unplanned maintenance on generating units never exceeding 9,500MW being taken offline.

For those living in South Africa’s major metros, here is where you can check to see when you will be hit:

For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.

Smartphone users can also download the app EskomSePush to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented, as well as the times the area you are in will be off.

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Eskom load shedding jumps to stage 4 on Friday