Once again, the weather has beaten Eskom. The state-owned utility said on Friday that it has been forced to ramp up load shedding to stage 5 as temperatures across South Africa plummet.
Load Shedding Schedule
“Due to higher than anticipated demand, stage-5 load shedding will be implemented from 4 pm today until midnight,” Eskom said in a statement. “Thereafter, stage-4 load shedding will be implemented until 5 am on Sunday.” The utility then expects load shedding to be reduced to stage 2 until 4 pm on Sunday, after which it will implement cuts at stage 4.
The country has been hit by a second powerful winter weather system in as many weeks. During the last cold snap, Eskom ramped up power cuts to stage 6, meaning it was not able to supply 6GW of demand into the national grid.
Eskom earlier this week said it was fighting plant breakdowns at its ageing coal-fired power stations. On Wednesday, breakdowns had reached more than 19GW of capacity even as planned maintenance was reduced.