In a statement on Wednesday morning, Eskom warned that Stage 2 loadshedding could be implemented from 9am to 11pm today.
Eskom said that it is experiencing a “shortage of capacity”, and that more details will follow.
Stage 2 load shedding allows for 2k000 MW of power to be shed on a rotational basis. Stage 1 is the “lightest” loadshedding schedule, while during Stage 4, 4,000MW of power will be shed.
Last month, Eskom warned that plant maintenance which often takes place during the summer time may trigger outages.
“Most of our power stations are in need of maintenance to improve reliability… we do our best to strike the right balance between plant maintenance and keeping the lights on,” said Eskom chairperson and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza.
South Africa last saw loadshedding in March this year, after a cyclone in Mozambique affected power imports from the country. Eskom also didn’t have enough diesel to power its open cycle gas turbines.
The energy availability of Eskom’s generation fleet is supposed to be as high as 80%, but was last month as low as 69%, an Eskom board member warned recently.
Even a 0.1% rise in economic growth could result in outages, Nelisiwe Magubane, an Eskom director, told an event last month.
A new plan to deal with Eskom, which will probably be split into generation, transmission and distribution units, is supposed to be discussed in cabinet today.
Earlier this week, president Cyril Ramaphosa said government will announce its plan to deal with Eskom’s R450bn debt pile in the next days.
“I think Moody’s and others will be happy with the announcements made,” Ramaphosa said.
More than 270 hours of loadshedding contributed to South Africa’s economy shrinking by 3.2% in the first quarter of this year. While avoiding a recession in the second quarter, the economy has been struggling.