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Warnings of heavy rain and load shedding

Eskom warned of 12 more hours of load shedding and rain could further strain the already fragile power grid.

FILE: Eskom warned of 12 more hours of load shedding and rain could further strain the already fragile power grid. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - As the cold and wet weather moves over the country, Eskom has warned of at least 12 more hours of load shedding.

It says the power grid is extremely constrained due to unforeseen technical problems at its power stations.

On Friday, the power utility started with scheduled blackouts across the country.

This is the third time the utility has implemented load shedding this year.

Eskom has been experiencing problems since the collapse of a coal silo at the Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga earlier this month.

The collapse led to rolling blackouts across the country on 2 November.

The power utility says although the power grid remains under severe pressure, it hopes to see some improvements later today.

Power cuts were due to begin a short while ago and will continue until 8pm.

Large parts of Gauteng and the Western Cape have been hit by the blackouts with traffic lights out in many areas and major traffic congestion.

Eskom's Tony Stott says they are facing an uphill battle.

Wet weather conditions could place further strain on the already fragile power grid.

ESKOM BUILDING UP RESERVES

The power utility says it's aiming to have built up enough power reserves by the end of the weekend in order to minimise disruptions for residents and businesses on Monday morning.

Stage two of load shedding has started in parts of the country, with some areas experiencing lengthy outages.

Stage two means the frequency of power cuts has been increased.

To view the load shedding schedule, click here.