Eskom “regrettably” announced early on Wednesday that it would move to stage four load-shedding from 9am, which is set to continue until 5am on Friday — the result of additional generation units failing.
The national power supplier introduced stage two load-shedding on Monday saying the rolling blackouts would be implemented continuously until early on Wednesday morning after unit 3 at its Medupi power station in Limpopo broke down.
Instead of the stage two being lifted on Wednesday morning, stage four was announced after four generation units tripped overnight at a number of power stations.
“Eskom would like to apologise for the implementation of load-shedding, and will continuously review the situation and act appropriately as circumstances change,” the power said in a statement.
Failing units at Kendal, Duvha, Camden and Kusile power stations reduced the available generation capacity by 15 439 megawatts, of which 5 505MW was for planned maintenance.
Eskom said that although it had restored four units to service, there was still a need to “ramp up to full output”, which required reliance on emergency generation reserves.
“This being the fourth day of extremely high diesel usage, the emergency reserves are being depleted faster than can be replenished. Stage four load-shedding will therefore give us the space required to replenish the emergency reserves and continue to manage the system safely.”
Eskom is expected to address the media during an emergency briefing later on Wednesday morning.