Eskom says it will implement stage 4 load shedding starting at 12pm on Wednesday until 5am on Friday.
Stage 2 load shedding will also commence again until 5am on Saturday, as previously announced.
Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said this was due to a further shortage of generation capacity.
“Over the past 24 hours, a unit each at the Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were [sic] forced to shut down.
“This constrained the power system further, requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves,” Mantshantsha said in a statement.
Generating units returning to service
Eskom said some of its generating units had returned to service and it anticipated another two units to return to service during the day on Wednesday.
“In addition, Koeberg unit 1 is expected to return to service today [Wednesday] and begin ramping up to full output within 48 hours,” Mantshantsha said.
The power utility said total breakdowns currently amounted to 14,957MW while planned maintenance is 5,301MW of capacity.
Eskom apologised for the inconvenience caused by the implementation of load shedding, saying stage 4 power cuts were no cause for alarm as the power system remained under control.
“We remind customers that load shedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the power system regardless of the stage of load shedding.
“The implementation of stage 4 load shedding is, therefore, no cause for alarm as the power system remains to be [sic] effectively controlled.”
Eskom also called on the public to reduce their usage of electricity in order to help it through the power constraints.
“Eskom will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the power system.”
Expect load shedding this summer
On Monday, Eskom executives briefed the media on the state of the power system and warned that South Africans should expect a number of days of load shedding this summer.
Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said they were prioritising their reliability maintenance programme, which was not a one-off but ongoing.
“Our generation business remains a concern, mainly due to its age and a legacy of poor maintenance,” Oberholzer said.