Eskom, the national power provider, declared that escalating demand has necessitated a surge in load shedding for Friday.
Starting from 10h00 on Friday, Stage 4 load shedding will be rolled out, expected to endure until 05h00 on Saturday. Previously, the plan was to implement Stage 2 load shedding for the day.
Fresh Load Shedding Timetable
Friday, 21 July
- Stage 4: 10h00 to 00h00
Saturday, 22 July
- Stage 4: 00h00 to 05h00
- Stage 2: 05h00 to 16h00
- Stage 4: 16h00 to 00h00
The above weekend schedule is subject to modifications. Eskom has assured that any necessary updates will be made public promptly.
Rising Demand and Depleting Reserves
Earlier this week, Eskom had warned that the likelihood of load shedding would increase as the demand rises and reserves dwindle towards the weekend.
This uptick can be attributed to the chilly weather gripping the country due to another incoming cold front.
‘Razor Thin’ Reserve Situation
Independent energy analyst Pieter Jordaan’s data indicate that Eskom is operating with a ‘razor thin’ reserve, and any malfunction or operational hiccup could lead to higher power outages.
Despite a marginal improvement in generating capacity over the last month, much of the relief from load shedding in South Africa can be credited to a decrease in user demand. However, the situation took a turn last week as a severe cold snap escalated energy demand to levels Eskom had forecasted at the onset of winter, with a warning that higher stages of load shedding were highly likely.
The sudden demand surge resulted in Stage 6 load shedding being enforced for an extended duration.