Updated Eskom Load Shedding Schedule – don’t be left in the dark

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Load Shedding is back on schedule for South Africa, we all know that frustrating heart dropping sound of the electricity going off when you least expect it so we are here to keep you informed.  Load Shedding Status: rolling rotational cuts currently at stage 4. We used to get upset as stage 4 was the worst we had experienced, recently we have hit stage 6. So does that mean that we should be grateful for stage 4 load shedding?

Unfortunately, the National Power Utility was forced to implement a series of rolling rotational cuts as a result of both planned and unplanned maintenance causing pain for the citizens and the economy.

While Pravin Gordhan, managed to outlaw blackouts at the end of 2018 – thanks to a sharp contingency strategy that resulted in the Eskom executives losing their holiday leave – it has been said that Load Shedding could last until the end of 2019. We haven’t heard any news or plan for next year, let’s assume the government is still “working” on it.

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Stages of Load Shedding

To understand the daily schedule of load shedding and its continuing annoyances, it is important to understand why it’s happening in the first place. It’s no secret that Eskom is in an operational and financial crisis. The root causes of Eskom’s failures are well documented and include elements of corruption, mismanagement and disastrous maintenance programs.

Whatever the cause, the manifestation remains the same; Eskom is unable to meet the demands of the nation. This inability to deliver is a serious strain on the power grid – especially during rush hours, usually from 10:00 to 20:00. If Eskom reaches its full generational capacity and does not ration some suburbs to reduce the load, the power grid can suffer a catastrophic failure, causing a national blackout that can take several days to fix. This will be a lot worse than just our 2  and a half hours of load shedding a day. Imagine no wifi for a couple of days!

There are four stages of load shedding:

Stage 1: allows the national load to be discharged to 1,000 MW. Requires the smallest load shedding, 3 times over four days for two hours at a time or 3 times over an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

Stage 2 allows the shedding of up to 2,000 MW. Doubles the frequency of Stage 1, which means that it is planned load shedding 6 times in four days for two hours at a time or 6 times in an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

Stage 3 allows up to 3,000 MW of load shedding. Increases the frequency of Stage 2 by 50%, which means that it is planned load shedding 9 times in four days for two hours at a time or 9 times in an eight-day period for four hours at a time.

Stage 4 allows you to shed up to 4,000 MW. Doubles the frequency of Stage 2, which means that it is planned load shedding 12 times in four days for two hours at a time or 12 times in eight days for four hours at a time.

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How To Check Your Load Shedding Schedule for Each Day

To find out if and when the area or suburbs will be affected by the load shedding, first you need to know if your electricity supply comes directly from Eskom or from the municipality.

Check your the load shedding schedule for Cape Town: Cape Town Eskom Load Shedding Schedule   (Feel free to download this pdf so that you can have it with you daily to make sure you are always aware of the dark times.) 

Check your load shedding schedule for Johannesburg: Johannesburg Load Shedding Schedule

Check your load shedding schedule for Durban: Durban Load Shedding Schedule

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