Load shedding pushed higher thanks to Eskom ‘maintenance’

 ·29 Jan 2024

Power utility Eskom says that it has taken five generation units offline for repairs, while two more units will take longer to return because of an “opportunity” to do even more maintenance.

As a result, load shedding will be pushed up to stage 3 on Monday, returning to stage 2 on Tuesday morning.

“The return to service of two generating units that were on planned maintenance was delayed due to an opportunity to perform preventative maintenance,” it said.

Stage 3 will kick in from 16h00 to 05h00 in Tuesday, followed by Stage 2 until 16h00, then back to stage 3.

The pattern of moving between stage 2 and stage 3 load shedding will continue this week until further notice, Eskom said.

Monday, 29 January

  • Stage 2: until 16h00
  • Stage 3: 16h00 to 00h00

Tuesday, 30 January

  • Stage 3: 00h00 to 05h00
  • Stage 2: 05h00 to 16h00
  • Stage 3: 16h00 to 00h00

Wednesday, 31 January

  • Stage 3: 00h00 to 05h00
  • Stage 2: 05h00 to 16h00
  • Stage 3: 16h00 to 00h00

Thursday, 1 February

  • Stage 3: 00h00 to 05h00
  • Stage 2: 05h00 to 16h00
  • Stage 3: 16h00 to 00h00

“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes to loadshedding should it be required.”

In addition to the extended maintenance, Eskom noted outages have also increased to over, 16,400MW.

The capacity out of service for planned maintenance is at 7,521MW. The group said it was working to restore 1,600MW of capacity by Wednesday.


According to independent energy analyst, Pieter Jordaan, Eskom’s current maintenance regime is undoing any positive movements in generating capacity, with planned maintenance reaching higher than any year before, while also keeping units offline for longer.

While planned maintenance is presented as a big positive, Jordaan said that the truth is that Eskom is struggling to bring units back to power after being taken offline for repairs – which is causing shortfalls.

Citing Eskom’s load shedding announcements, Jordaan said that “it would appear that the reason for the unusually high PCLF in 2024 is due to an inability to return units as planned“.

“Technically, these unreturned PCLFs should be accounted for as UCLF. If accounted for as such, UCLF would likely reflect as 34.1% (higher than the same time in 2023) and the ‘pure’ PCLF as 13.6% – in-line with past trends,” he said.

Earlier in the year, several experts noted that load shedding had returned far earlier than expected due to Eskom’s maintenance schedule needlessly undercutting power availability.


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: The big Eskom turnaround lie

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter