Power utility Eskom says it will move between both stage 1 and 2 load shedding on Thursday (16 July).
It said in a statement on Wednesday evening, that stage 1 load shedding will run from 09h00 until 14h00 on Thursday, moving to stage 2 through to 22h00.
The power utility said that the electricity demand has significantly increased due to the cold weather.
“It is currently more than 2,000 MW higher than yesterday and we forecast that evening peak demand will still be much higher. This was already the highest demand this year at more than 33,000 MW.
“This together with generation units that have suffered breakdowns is putting severe strain on the system,” it said.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 15, 2020
Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha told Reuters on Wednesday that the power utility cannot say when its latest round of load shedding will end.
“The reality is we don’t know which of the coal units are going to fail on any given day, that is true for both the old and the new units,” Mantshantsha said.
He said that Eskom has assembled a team led by one of its senior engineers to try to improve the performance of problem power stations.
He added that morning peak power demand on Wednesday was at its highest this year because of extreme cold weather, compounding the generation shortfall.
“Once this bout of load shedding is over, it would be naive to think we are done with load-shedding,” Mantshantsha said. “We don’t have a single extra megawatt since we implemented stage 6 load-shedding during summer.”
Check your schedule
For those living in the major metros, here is where you can check to see when you will be affected:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Ekurhuleni
- City of Tshwane
- City of Cape Town (PDF)
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Buffalo City
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.