Eskom stage 3 load shedding announced

The blackouts are being intensified due to decreased generating capacity.

Power lines are pictured in Johannesburg on 27 March, 2011. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Stage three load shedding has been implemented nationwide, Eskom confirmed on Thursday.

The blackouts are being intensified due to decreased generating capacity.

This means the power system is more vulnerable than ever before and that Eskom needs to shed 4,000 megawatts from the national grid.

Frustrated motorists are battling to make their way home with traffic lights out in countless areas across South Africa.

Earlier on Thursday, the parastatal announced that the grid was constrained and stage two load shedding would be implemented.

Eskom confirmed it lost generating capacity at five of its units across the country.

In addition to the equipment that went offline on Wednesday, another set of generators were also affected, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.

Technicians have been trying to return generators that were out on maintenance but this appears to be taking longer than expected.

Eskom is also battling financially and will need a bailout from government. But there's still no word from officials on how it's going to help the company.

South Africans have been urged to check load shedding schedules to prepare for blackouts, which will last until 11pm.

Take a look at EWN 's feature on how to survive load shedding.

To view load shedding schedules in your area, click here.