Well, this all escalated very quickly. Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented by Eskom from 2pm on Friday and will last until 6am on Saturday morning.
According to multiple sources, the power utility will jump to its most severe rolling blackout level currently in use, in a bid to shed 4000MW of demand from the grid.
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Earlier on Thursday, it imposed Stage 2 load shedding for 21 hours after more than 12 500MW of generational capacity was reportedly unavailable. This is some 3000MW above the utility’s load shedding safe zone.
At around 1.20pm on Friday, Eskom confirmed that it had lost around 13 000MW of capacity.
“This with a higher demand of about 1000MW, necessitates load shedding to move up from Stage 2 to Stage 4,” it wrote in a statement.
Date: 06 December 2019
Stage 2 rotational loadshedding moves up to Stage 4 from 14:00 today.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) December 6, 2019
The news of the sudden jump from Stage 2 to Stage 4 hit South Africa hard.
“The wheels are coming off rather spectacularly,” tweeted one user.
Another suggested that “Armageddon is around the corner”.
Stage 4 #loadshedding. The wheels are coming off rather spectacularly. After SAA, what other decisions will our government reluctantly be forced into?
— John Endres (@senderman) December 6, 2019
— Mari, a Biskit (@mariblueruby) December 6, 2019
Stage 4 loadshedding hits the country from 14h00. Armageddon is around the corner.
— Kgauza Lecowza (@kgaugelo_SM) December 6, 2019
A number of users also found the South African Government account’s old tweet from September, which stated that no load shedding would occur this summer.
Stage 4 loadshedding says Hi. https://t.co/xQckvIDP84
— SikaBopha (@osmaseko) December 6, 2019
The last time load shedding was pushed to this level was in February 2019.
Find your Stage 4 load shedding schedule
Stage 4 means more power cuts more often, so be sure to find your city or municipality’s schedule here.
Feature image: Rahul via Pexels