Stage 1 load shedding from 5pm - Eskom

Cape Town - Eskom has rectified a City of Ekurhuleni tweet that load shedding would be at stage 2, saying that it will only be at stage 1 from 17:00 to 22:00 on Wednesday.

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"Eskom will implement stage 1 load shedding from 17:00 today, which is likely to continue until 22:00 this evening," Eskom said. "This is due to a shortage of generation capacity as several units are currently out of service due to maintenance."

"Because of maintenance, the system will not be able to meet 1 000MW of demand, meaning that although certain areas will be without electricity for a certain period, about 96% of South Africans will still continue to receive power supply at the same time."

This is the third day in a row that Eskom has limited load shedding to the evening at stage 1 level, which only requires 1 000 MW to be shed from the grid. This comes after a week of daily stage 2 load shedding last week.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Eskom said it would not be load shedding for the first part of Wednesday because there was enough electricity generating capacity to meet demand.

"The power system is stable at present and should there be a need to load shed in the evening, Eskom will advise the public accordingly," it said.

"We would like to thank all electricity users for responding to our message to save."

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Earlier on Wednesday, Eskom said the chance of load shedding was medium for the morning and very high for the evening, dependent on the performance of the power plants.

Tuesday's late evening stage 1 load shedding marked the tenth consecutive day of load shedding for electricity consumers as Eskom battles with a very vulnerable electricity supply system. Eskom says the power system remains very vulnerable for the rest of the week.

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Consumers have been plunged in the dark for almost 40 days since the beginning of this year in the worst electricity crunch since 2008 as Eskom struggles to meet demand amid a shortage of generation capacity as several units are currently out of service due to maintenance.

Eskom said maintenance is carried out to guarantee that its supply of electricity can be maintained in the long term.

Although Eskom implemented load shedding on Monday and Tuesday, there was some relief for 96% of electricity users as the power utility only had to shave off 1 000MW off the grid between 17:00 and 21:45 on both days.

"Because of maintenance, the system will not be able to meet 1 000MW of demand, meaning that although certain areas will be without electricity for a certain period, about 96% of South Africans will still continue to receive power supply at the same time," Eskom said in a statement.

* Be a part of the load shedding survival guide. Tell us how your business or household is responding to the power crisis or share ideas that could stimulate action.

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