After warning, Eskom escalates power cuts to stage 4 through to Friday

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the power utility said that the escalation in the rolling blackouts was necessary to ration the remaining emergency generation reserves after it was used extensively on Monday morning.

A restaurant in Cavendish Square Mall in Claremont, Cape Town closed due to load shedding. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom will implement stage 4 power cuts from 1pm on Monday through to 5am on Friday due to generation capacity shortages. Stage 2 power cuts would then be implemented until further notice.

The power utility on Monday morning warned that it could escalate the rolling power cuts should the situation worsen throughout the week. Stage 4 power cuts mean that citizens are subjected to three bouts of power cuts in a 24-hour period.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the power utility said that the escalation in the rolling blackouts was necessary to ration the remaining emergency generation reserves after it was used extensively on Monday morning as it was not getting the reduction in demand as expected from stage two power cuts.

READ: How to check your load shedding schedule

Eskom added that seven generation units had not returned to service as anticipated and that a unit at the Arnot power station had tripped on Monday morning, adding to the shortages.

The embattled power utility extended stage 2 blackouts at short notice over the weekend, blaming it on ongoing insufficient generation capacity and the inability to replenish emergency reserves.

Eskom said that over the past few days, there were unforeseen breakdowns to its fragile infrastructure, while undisclosed issues at its plant in Zambia have also affected the entire southern African grid.

The power utility has battled to keep the power grid stable as a number of generating units have tripped or been taken offline.

Last month, the power cuts were also escalated to stage 4.