Power utility Eskom has announced that load shedding will increase to stage 3 for the upcoming week and will continue at this level until further notice.
Eskom noted due to the need to further replenish emergency reserves in preparation for the week ahead, Stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 02:00 on Sunday (4 February) until further notice.
Eskom added that it would closely monitor the power system and communicate should it be required.
South Africans have become accustomed to frequent changes in load shedding over the past few years, but in recent weeks, shifts in stages have been quite dramatic, swinging from no load shedding to permanent stage 2 or stage 3 outages at short notice.
Other times, Eskom has suspended load shedding overnight without even announcing it, only to return to outages again in the morning.
This has been happening when user demand on the grid has hit record lows, and Eskom’s maintenance regime has hit unprecedented highs – raising eyebrows among some analysts.
However, Eskom has cleared the air around these haphazard changes, saying that it is simply doing what it must to stabilise the grid and protect it from collapse.
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.