Electric utility Eskom has released the expected load shedding schedule for this weekend, hoping to move from phase 5 to phase 3 by Monday.
However, it warned that higher stages may be necessary if diesel supplies remain limited.
Load shedding will continue in phase 5 until 5am on Saturday, it said, to phase 4 at midnight. From there, the delivery of the cargo in phase 3 will continue until Monday 5 a.m.
The schedule is below:
“The capacity constraints will persist throughout next week and current indications are that load shedding will be implemented in phase 3 for most of the week,” it said.
“A further update will be published Sunday afternoon, or as soon as there are significant changes.”
Eskom said the load shedding over the weekend will be used to replenish the levels of the pumped-up storage dam, which has been widely used over the past week.
It added that it is currently experiencing constraints from its diesel suppliers affecting the availability of bulk diesel for the Ankerlig and Gourikwa Open Cycle Gas Turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2,000 MW.
“If this uncertainty about diesel stocks continues, higher load shedding stages may be required,” it said.
Since Thursday, a generation unit has each been taken offline for repair at the Camden, Kriel, Majuba and Matla plants. A generating unit at Hendrina and two at Kusile plants were returned to service.
“While some production units are expected to be back in service, it is necessary to continue load shedding to limit the use of the emergency generation reserves.”
The group currently has 5,839 MW of planned maintenance, while an additional 15,745 MW of capacity is unavailable due to outages.
It recently released its load shedding outlook for the remainder of the year, noting that it must keep unplanned outages below 13,000 MW to minimize progressive blackouts.
In a more heavily loaded scenario, if the outage remains above 14,500 MW, phase 2 load shedding will be frequent in the near future. If the utility cannot keep the outage below 16,000 MW, load shedding in higher phases will become the standard.
For people who live in the major subways, tax shedding schedules are available here:
For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made these available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.
Smartphone users can also download the EskomSePush app to receive push notifications when load shedding is deployed, as well as the times the area you are in is off.
Read: Prepare for long periods of load shedding from Stage 6 to Stage 8: Analyst