Stage 4 power cuts will continue for the rest of the week with a chance of relief only expected on Sunday morning after 5am when struggling power utility Eskom predicts its generation units will have recovered enough to switch over to stage 2.
Eskom issued an update on the state of its power generation system on Thursday, noting that the increased level of load shedding is necessary to recover emergency generation reserves and perform maintenance to prepare its ailing systems for the coming week.
Read: 4 000 MW to be cut from grid, new power accords
Stage 4 power cuts usually leave households without power for at least six hours, while under Stage 2 households can go for as long as four hours without power.
According to Eskom, it has lost 14 953MW of generation capacity due to breakdowns while another 5 914MW of capacity is offline for planned maintenance.
“In the last 12 hours, a generating unit at Arnot and Kriel power stations were taken offline for repairs. Subsequently, a generating unit at Arnot, Duvha and Tutuka power stations was returned to service,” the utility said.
“The delay in returning to service a generating unit at Kendal and Tutuka Power Stations is also contributing to the current capacity constraints.”
Listen to Ntando Thukwana speaking to DBSA’s Mohan Vivekanandan about the cost of SA’s grid expansion (or read the transcript):