Power utility Eskom says that load shedding will be eased to stage 5 on Sunday after it managed to replenish its emergency reserves.
Stage 5 load shedding will come into effect from 12h00 and will continue until further notice.
“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes to load shedding should it be required,” it said.
This follows a sudden move to stage 6 load shedding this weekend – the first time since November 2023 – after 13 generating units went offline due to breakdowns or post-maintenance delays.
While Eskom has noted the return of some capacity, breakdowns are still significant, currently sitting at 17,595MW of generating capacity.
Capacity out of service due to planned maintenance is at 6,885MW.
At a briefing on Sunday morning (11 February), electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said load shedding should ease to previous low levels by the middle of the coming week.
He said that the escalation to stage 6 load shedding on Saturday was because of the inherent risks associated with Eskom’s maintenance strategy, where the utility is prioritising planned maintenance to deliver long-term improvements to the grid, but this runs the risk of clusters of units failing in short order.
Eskom noted that ten of its generating units had been taken offline since Thursday, putting severe strain on the system.
Five of the units were taken offline due to boiler tube leaks, cutting generation supply. In addition to the ten units offline, three units had suffered delays in returning to service after maintenance.
By Sunday, some of these units had already been brought back online.
Eskom said its teams are working to return 3,200MW to service by Wednesday evening.
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.