Eskom makes about-turn to stage 4 load shedding

Eskom cited a lower than expected electricity demand from consumers.

Picture: Pexels

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Eskom will not implement stage 6 load shedding at 4pm as planned on Friday.

The power utility made an about-turn on the load shedding stages.

It said South African households and businesses would remain on stage 4 load shedding until 22:00 on Friday.

Thereafter, explained Eskom, stage 2 load shedding would kick in until 7am over the weekend.

Eskom cited a lower than expected electricity demand from consumers.

“Stage 4 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 22:00. Loadshedding will then be reduced to Stage 2 at 22:00 until 07:00 for both Saturday and Sunday,” said Eskom in a statement adding that this was subject to change.

"Due to lower than anticipated demand, load shedding will continue to be implemented at stage 4 until 22:00 tonight (previously stage 6). Load shedding will then be lowered to stage 2 until 07:00 on Saturday morning...

"Eskom is cautious that this small reprieve is due to lower than anticipated demand during the weekend and continues to evaluate the situation and closely monitor the system. We will communicate and implement any changes as may be necessary," said Eskom.

The country has this week been plunged into stage 6 darkness.

Eskom has pinned this on the wage negotiations impasse with workers.

But CEO André de Ruyter has since said that wage talks with unions were progressing well.

At the same time, various quarters of society - including political parties - have called for de Ruyter to step down from his position.

The Black Business Council is the latest body to echo the call for de Ruyter to resign.


The state-owned power company said if striking employees returned to work it would be able to lift load shedding.

De Ruyter reiterated that the power utility was an essential service and its workers were prohibited from striking and said the unlawful and unprotected industrial action had worsened the power supply situation.

“It’s a major factor putting us in the position that we are currently in and we are very grateful to our managerial officials who have been working under extraordinarily challenging situations to keep our plants operating.”

Meanwhile, Eskom management has met with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to discuss the country's power crisis, as well as a number of potential options to address the issue.

WATCH: Eskom update: 'Power outages as a result of illegal protest action'