Stage 4 Load Shedding

Understanding Stage 4 Load Shedding in South Africa

South Africa has been struggling with electricity supply for years, with frequent power outages and load shedding becoming a common occurrence. Recently, the country has entered into Stage 4 Load Shedding, the highest level of power cuts, causing widespread inconvenience and disruptions to citizens and businesses. In this article, we will explore what Stage 4 Load Shedding is, why it is happening, and what the implications are for South Africans.

What is Stage 4 Load Shedding?

Load shedding is a voluntary power cut or reduction of electricity supply to balance the demand and supply of electricity. South Africa faces periodic power shortages due to aging infrastructure, insufficient capacity to meet the demand of a growing population and economy, and maintenance issues. Stage 4 Load Shedding is the most severe level of power cuts, where Eskom, the state-owned power utility, is required to cut 4,000 MW of electricity from the national grid. This means that consumers may experience power outages for up to 4.5 hours per day.

Why is Stage 4 Load Shedding happening?

Eskom cites a combination of factors for Stage 4 Load Shedding, including technical breakdowns, planned maintenance, and lower than expected output from power stations. Eskom operates a fleet of coal-fired power stations, which accounts for about 90% of the country’s electricity supply. However, the power stations are old and in need of upgrades and repairs, and the utility has struggled to keep up with maintenance, leading to unplanned breakdowns and outages. In addition, Eskom faces financial challenges, with mounting debt and operational costs, which has hindered its ability to invest in new infrastructure and equipment.

What are the implications of Stage 4 Load Shedding?

The effects of Stage 4 Load Shedding are far-reaching and can have severe consequences for individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole. Here are some of the implications:

  • Inconvenience and disruptions: Power cuts can disrupt daily routines, such as cooking, heating, and charging devices, and can impact businesses that rely on electricity, such as restaurants, shops, and factories. Medical facilities and emergency services are also affected, putting lives at risk.

  • Economic impact: Load shedding can have a negative impact on the economy, as it disrupts production and supply chains, leads to loss of revenue and productivity, and affects investor confidence. Small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable, as they may not have backup generators or the financial resources to cope with the disruptions.

  • Health and safety risks: Power cuts can pose health and safety risks, as they can lead to accidents, fires, and crime. For example, traffic lights may not be operational, leading to accidents on the roads, or security systems may be disabled, making properties more vulnerable to theft.


In conclusion, Stage 4 Load Shedding is a serious issue that has major implications for South Africa. While there are no easy solutions, concerted efforts are needed from all stakeholders – including the government, Eskom, businesses, and citizens – to find ways to address the underlying causes and mitigate the impacts. By investing in new infrastructure, reducing energy consumption, and exploring alternative sources of energy, South Africa can move towards a more sustainable and secure energy future.

Please enter your suburb below in the search bar to display the most recent load shedding schedule for your area. provides users with real-time updates on the load shedding schedule for their specific area, allowing them to plan ahead and prepare for power cuts. also offers tips and advice on how to conserve energy during load shedding, as well as provide information on backup power solutions, such as inverters, generators or solar panels. With features such as notifications, location search and the latest news, can help users stay informed and reduce the inconvenience of power cuts. Whether you are at home, work, or on the go, is a useful tool to have during times of electricity shortage.


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