South Africans will again have to bear another round of rotational Stage 4 load shedding which will get underway at 9 am.

“Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 from 9 am to 11 pm. This is due to a shortage of capacity,” said the power utility on Wednesday.

The power utility said load shedding is a highly controlled process, implemented to protect the system and to prevent a total collapse of the system or a national blackout.

During Stage 4 load shedding, approximately 80% of the country’s demand is still being met.

“Eskom’s maintenance teams are working round the clock to return generation units to the electricity system,” said the power utility.

On Tuesday, the power utility and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefed the nation on developments at the power utility.

At the briefing, malfeasance, coupled with ageing infrastructure and decreasing expenditure on maintenance, were fingered for the spate of load shedding incidents seen over the last five days.

At the briefing a question was posed on what would happen should Eskom need to implement load shedding past Stage 4 at which the utility said further stages are in place as a contingency measure to ensure operability.

“The response was intended to indicate that Eskom will remain in control of the system through these additional contingency schedules. The response was certainly not to indicate that Eskom is formally planning to implement Stage 5 or beyond, but merely to indicate that the necessary contingency planning is in place,” said the power utility in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

The tweet followed media reports after the briefing that government and the Eskom have started planning for Stage 5 and 6 load shedding.

Stage 2 calls for 2000MW, Stage 3 calls for 3000MW, and Stage 4 calls for 4000MW to rotationally load shed nationally at a given period.

On Wednesday the power utility appealed to customers to switch off geysers during the day as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.

Eskom advised customers to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom or their municipal websites.

For Eskom customers, these schedules are available on the Eskom website (http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za). Eskom customers can also contact our customer contact centre at 0860 037 566.