Eskom pushes load shedding higher after even more breakdowns

 ·7 Dec 2022

Update: Load shedding pushed to stage 6 from 12h00 on Wednesday.

Power utility Eskom says load shedding will be escalated to stage 4 on Wednesday after further breakdowns at its power stations overnight.

Stage 4 load shedding will come into effect from 09h00 on Wednesday (7 December) and will continue until further notice, the group said.

“Due to further breakdowns and delayed return of generating units to service, stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 09h00 until further notice. Eskom will issue a full statement in due course.”

This latest update scuppers attempts by the power utility over the last few days to provide South Africans with a stable schedule to follow when it comes to planning their day around rolling blackouts.

The plan was to initially de-escalate load shedding from stage 4 on the weekend to stage 2 by Wednesday, but instability and breakdowns on the grid ended up pushing the group to extend stage 3 load shedding for longer than intended.

Things are also expected to get much worse this week, with Eskom taking down its most reliable energy generator – Koeberg Unit 1 – for maintenance and repairs on Thursday.

This will pull 920MW of power from the grid, and it will be offline for at least six months.

Adding to the stress, almost 3,000MW remains offline from various defects and incidents at Medupi and Kusile power stations. These units are only expected to be fully operational again in 2024.

Eskom’s load shedding forecast for the year ahead shows that the group either has to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW or have billions of rands more to spend on diesel to keep load shedding at bay – or, at the very least, at low stages.

However, neither of these options is available. The group has been largely unsuccessful in keeping outages below 16,000MW – its worst-case scenario – and there is simply no more money for diesel.

As the group prepares to contend with all its lost energy capacity, the last few weeks and months have shown that it cannot reliably keep its on load capacity available.

Economists, analysts, experts and Eskom itself have warned South Africans to prepare for prolonged periods of load shedding at higher stages for the foreseeable future.


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

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: Massive blow to South Africa this week

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