JOHANNESBURG - Power utility Eskom has announced that stage 4 load shedding will be implemented between 1pm and 10pm today.
The utility says it has lost six additional generating units since this morning, which has placed additional strain on the system.
The utility explains that stage 1 requires 1,000 MW, stage 2 requires 2,000 MW, stage 3 requires 3,000 MW and stage 4 calls for 4,000 MW to be rotationally load shed nationally at a given period.
"Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system."
Stage 4 doubles the frequency of stage 2 which means consumers will be scheduled for load shedding 12 times over a four-day period for two hours at a time, or 12 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.
Spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said: “We hope to pull back from stage 4 this afternoon but it will depend once again on the nature of problems and whether we will be able to manage with a lower stage. We apologise for the extended load shedding and assure the public that we are working 24/7 to improve the situation.”
'MASSIVE ECONOMIC IMPACT'
Energy analyst Chris Yelland has warned South Africans to brace for disruptions.
“Individuals, to households, to businesses, commercial enterprises, factories, [and] farmers, all over the country it’s very disruptive and it causes a massive economic impact. For 13 hours a day, rotational load shedding that is the shedding of 4,000 MW.”
While the country battles a second consecutive day of rolling blackouts, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is meeting with executives from the struggling utility to try and find solutions to the country's electricity crisis.
Check your area's load shedding schedule here.
This article first appeared on EWN : Eskom announces stage 4 load shedding