Eskom has announced that load shedding will be pushed to stage 4 from 13h00.
Stage 4 load shedding means that 4,000MW of power must be shed from the grid, which means that households will be without power for even longer during the day.
According to Eskom, the push to stage 4 was due to the power utility unexpectedly losing six additional generating units, which has put more strain on the system.
“We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period,” it said.
Load shedding is expected to continue until 22h00 this evening.
Load shedding stages
In 2018, Eskom changed the structure of its load shedding stages.
Under the previous load shedding schedule, four stages were implemented with between 1,000 MW and 4,000 MW of the national load shed – with ‘stage 4’ being the worst possible outcome for South African consumers.
Stage 4 will typically result in consumers being without power for a total of 24 hours spread out over four days, or a total of 48 hours over eight days.
However, Eskom has since revised its schedule to include up to eight different stages, with up to 8,000 MW shed from the national grid – effectively doubling the power cut frequency of stage 4.
During stage 8 load shedding, consumers would be without power for 48 hours over four days, or 96 hours in eight days.
Most metros have already developed load shedding schedules that cater for stages 1-8.