Load shedding just got a whole lot worse. Eskom said on Wednesday afternoon that it will escalate the rotational national blackouts from stage 2 to stage 4 from 3pm.

This came after the state-owned electricity monopoly reintroduced load shedding on Tuesday at midday at stage 2. It cautioned at the time that the power cuts could last until at least Friday and that the stage of load shedding could be increased.

At stage 4, Eskom is shedding 4GW of load nationally. Stage 4 will continue until 10pm.

The utility said the load shedding will now continue until at least Sunday. It blamed the “continuing severe generation supply constraints caused by multiple unit breakdowns as well as the additional demand caused by the cold weather”.

“Eskom teams will work around the clock to return as many of these generation units to service as possible,” it said. The teams have successfully returned a generation unit each at the Tutuka, Komati, Hendrina and Camden power stations to service. Two additional units have, however, suffered breakdowns — they’re at the Matla and Kriel power stations.

Unplanned breakdowns amount to 11.3GW of capacity, adding to the 5GW currently out on planned maintanenance.  – © 2020 NewsCentral Media