Power utility Eskom has published its expected load shedding schedule for this weekend, hoping to ease from stage 5 to stage 3 by Monday.
However, it warned that higher stages may be necessary if diesel supplies remain constrained.
Load shedding will continue at stage 5 until 05h00 on Saturday, it said, dropping to stage 4 at midnight. From there, load shedding will continue at stage 3 until 05h00 on Monday.
The schedule is below:
“The capacity constraints will persist throughout next week, and current indications are that load shedding will be implemented at stage 3 for most of the week,” it said.
“A further update will be published on Sunday afternoon, or as soon as there are any significant changes.”
Eskom said the load shedding over the weekend will be used to replenish the pumped storage dam levels, which have been utilised extensively over the past week.
It added that it is currently experiencing constraints from its diesel suppliers that is affecting the availability of bulk diesel to the Ankerlig and Gourikwa Open Cycle Gas Turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2,000MW.
“Should this uncertainty of diesel supplies persist, higher stages of load shedding may be required,” it said.
Since Thursday a generation unit each at Camden, Kriel, Majuba and Matla power stations were taken offline for repairs. A generating unit at Hendrina and two at Kusile power stations were returned to service.
“While some generation units are anticipated to return to service, it is necessary to continue the load shedding to limit the usage of the emergency generation reserves.”
The group currently has 5,839MW on planned maintenance, while another 15,745MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
It recently published its load shedding outlook for the rest of the year, noting that it has to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW to minimise rolling blackouts.
In a more load shedding-heavy scenario, if outages remain above 14,500MW, stage 2 load shedding will be frequent for the foreseeable future. If the power utility cannot keep outages under 16,000MW, load shedding at higher stages becomes the standard.
For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available here:
- 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.