Load shedding pushed to stage 4 on Tuesday

 ·18 Oct 2022

Power utility Eskom has pushed load shedding to stage 4 in the early hours of Tuesday morning (18 October) following more breakdowns at its power stations.

Stage 4 will stay in place until further notice, it said.

The move was necessary due to the breakdown of five generators at five power stations overnight. Full details will be published later in the day.

Load shedding was previously expected to remain at stage 2 until Wednesday and only be implemented in the evening peak between 16h00 and 00h00. However, Eskom’s ageing fleet of power stations operates on the edge of collapse, with any breakdown forcing the power utility to enter higher stages of rolling blackouts.

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer warned last week that the country will be dealing with persistent load shedding for at least 18 months before new generating capacity can be added to the grid.

“We need another year or year-and-a-half to get out of this,” Oberholzer said at the Agri SA conference near Johannesburg on Thursday. “We are going to go through a tough time over the next year and a half.”

Eskom’s own load shedding forecast through to August 2023 paints a bleak picture for South Africa’s power situation, noting that it has to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW to avoid load shedding. It has struggled to keep breakdowns below 16,000MW.

In scenarios where breakdowns exceed 16,000MW, the utility plans for near-permanent stage 3 and stage 4 load shedding, with excessive use of diesel generators to balance the demand. But even this scenario isn’t the full picture, as Eskom is effectively capped – through physical limitations – regarding how much diesel it can actually use.

Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto warned that South Africans should expect high stages of load shedding to hit throughout October and November.

Get ready for long periods of stage 6 to stage 8 load shedding: analyst


For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available here:

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.

Read: Some South Africans get an extra hour of load shedding – here’s why

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