Power utility Eskom says that stage 6 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 05h00 on Friday morning (9 December), before de-escalating to stage 5 for the weekend.
A further update will be provided as soon as there are any changes, it said.
Wednesday, 7 December
- Stage 6: until 00h00
Thursday, 8 December
- Stage 6: 00h00 to 00h00
Friday, 9 December
- Stage 6: 00h00 to 05h00
- Stage 5: 05h00 to 00h00
Saturday, 10 December
- Stage 5: 00h00 to 05h00
- Further stages to be determined
The heightened levels of load shedding are due to several breakdowns plaguing the group’s fleet.
“Since Tuesday night, breakdowns of two generating units at Grootvlei Power Station occurred, as well as a unit each at Arnot, Duvha, Kendal, Kriel and Tuttuka Power Stations,” it said.
In addition, two units at Arnot, a unit each at Camden, Kendal and Kriel power stations have been delayed in returning to service.
A unit a Matla Power Station returned to service on Tuesday night, the group said.
Breakdowns have increased to over 19,000MW, from 16,000MW offline on Wednesday morning as a result, which led to load shedding being pushed to stage 6. A further 5,000MW is offline for planned maintenance.
“As previously communicated, due to the depletion of the budget to acquire diesel for the Open Cycle Gas Turbines, Eskom has been forced to strictly preserve the remaining diesel for any extreme emergency situations such as multiple, simultaneous trips of generators,” it said.
The pumped storage dam levels all need to be replenished during load shedding, it said.
Things for the load shedding outlook are looking strained, however, with Eskom warning that its long-term maintenance and refuelling projects are kicking off on Wednesday night.
Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station will be taken offline on Wednesday and will remove 1,000MW from the grid for six months. Meanwhile, structural failures at Kusile will keep three units offline for the next year, further reducing available energy capacity.
Energy analyst Ted Blom said that if Eskom is unable to manage the stage 6 power crisis, the Koeberg plan will likely push load shedding even higher on Thursday and moving ahead.
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:
- 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.