Energy company Eskom has released its expected load shedding schedule for this weekend, hoping to move from Stage 5 to Stage 3 by Monday.
However, he warns that if diesel supplies remain tight, higher steps may be needed.
Load shedding will continue in Stage 5 until 05:00 on Saturday, reportedly dropping to Stage 4 at midnight. After that, load shedding will continue in Phase 3 until 05:00 on Monday.
“Bandwidth restrictions will remain in place for the next week and current indications are that phase 3 load shedding will be in place for most of the week,” it said.
“A further update will be posted on Sunday afternoon or as soon as there are significant changes.”
Eskom said the load shedding over the weekend would be used to top up the hydro storage dam, which was heavily used last week.
It added that it is currently facing constraints from diesel suppliers that are affecting the availability of bulk diesel fuel for the Ankerlig and Gourikwa open-cycle gas turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2,000 MW.
“If this uncertainty of diesel supply continues, higher stages of load shedding may be required“, the report says.
Since Thursday, one generating unit each at the Camden, Creel, Majuba and Matla power stations has been shut down for repairs. One generator unit at Handrin and two at Kusile power stations were returned to operation.
“While some generating units are expected to return to service, load shedding must continue to limit the use of emergency generation reserves.”
The group currently has 5,839 MW under scheduled maintenance, with another 15,745 MW of capacity unavailable due to breakdowns.
The company recently released its load-shedding forecast for the rest of the year, noting that it needs to keep unscheduled outages below 13,000 MW to minimize intermittent power outages.
In the higher load shedding scenario, if outages remain above 14,500 MW, stage 2 load shedding will be frequent for the foreseeable future. When the power utility cannot support outages of less than 16,000 MW, load shedding at higher stages becomes the norm.
For people living in major metro areas, drop-off schedules are available here:
To access other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available at loadshedding.eskom.co.za.
Smartphone users can also download the EskomSePush app to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented and when the area you are in will be shut down.
Read: Prepare for extended periods of deloading from stages 6 to 8: analyst