Johannesburg – Eskom has announced that Stage 5 load shedding would continue into the weekend, while Stage 4 is expected to be implemented from Sunday at 5am.
Eskom also said it expected to implement Stage 3 load shedding from Monday morning, also at 5am.
South Africa has been gripped by Stage 5 load shedding for much of this week.
The power utility had said it expected to lower the load shedding pain from Thursday, but this did not happen as Stage 5 load shedding remained.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said capacity constraints are expected to persist throughout next week.
“Current indications are that load shedding will be implemented at Stage 3 for most of the week.
“The load shedding over the weekend will be used to replenish the pumped storage dam levels, which have been utilised extensively over the past week.”
The power utility is said to be currently experiencing constraints from its diesel suppliers, which is affecting the availability of bulk diesel to the Ankerlig and Gourikwa Open Cycle Gas Turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2 000MW.
“Should this uncertainty of diesel supplies persist, higher stages of load shedding may be required. Since Thursday, a generation unit each at Camden, Kriel, Majuba and Matla power stations were taken off-line for repairs,” said Mantshantsha.
The utility also revealed that though some of their generation units are anticipated to return to service, it remains necessary to continue the load shedding to limit the usage of the emergency generation reserves.
Mantshantsha said: “A generating unit at Hendrina and two at Kusile power stations were returned to service.”
Mantshantsha added: “ We currently have 5839MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 745MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”
Furthermore, the power utility has apologised for the continued and unfortunate ongoing load shedding that is being implemented as a last resort due to the shortage of generation capacity while they attend to breakdowns.