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Stage one load shedding to go ahead

Eskom initially announced this morning that there would be no rolling blackouts today.

FILE: Eskom says it will implement stage one load shedding starting at 4pm this afternoon. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it will implement stage one load shedding starting at 4pm this afternoon.

The utility initially announced this morning that there would be no rolling blackouts today after power from generating units returned to the grid, but had to revise its status after it lost more than 1,000 megawatts.

It warned that depending on the performance of generators the likelihood of power cuts on Sunday evening was "medium to high".

Customers have been advised to urgently switch off unnecessary appliances.

The utility's Khulu Phasiwe says, "We apologise to the country for the inconvenience that load shedding is causing both in terms of the economy but also our daily lives as a nation."

Last week, during his State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma said government was doing everything in its power to resolve the energy challenge.

Zuma said government would invest R23 billion in the power utility.

He also announced Eskom had been directed to switch from diesel to gas as it continues to grapple with the nation's energy woes, adding that the construction of three new power stations will add 10,000 megawatts to the national grid.

Read more on how to survive load shedding.