Eskom load shedding - as it happened

2014-03-06 09:04
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Eskom declared an emergency on Thursday morning and warned of possible power cuts.

- Is the power out in your area? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

Eskom news round-up

Three reasons for Eskom power cuts
Gigaba says power cuts will continue
Extent of Eskom problem 'hidden from public'
Load shedding won't affect Metrorail
Maintenance trips Eskom
Minister: There is no power crisis
No financial impact of power cuts - govt
Cape starts stage three electricity cuts
PE starts load shedding
Consumers must help now - Eskom
Eskom's main problem is maintenance needs
Eskom employee: Load shedding 'worst so far'

Full Eskom load shedding schedule available here:

Map showing load shed areas:

16:46 -

Eskom in dire need of sympathy, says Greenpeace.

16:42 - 

16:39 -

Denosa spokesperson Sibongiseni Delihlazo says previous experience teaches that during unannounced power outages, some hospitals are often found with their proverbial pants down as generators fail to kick in. - Sapa

16:38 -

Although an essential service, hospitals and clinics were urged by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) to ensure their generators were working properly during the power cuts period.

16:36 -

So, my fellow South Africans, here we are, load shedding again. Hoo boy.  And since Eskom’s website is so effective (not) that I can’t find out if my area is scheduled to lose power any time soon, don’t be alarmed if I suddenly disapp---...   - Fin24 columnist Mandi Smallhorne

16:28 - 

Mokopane is also affected, twice just for today - News24 user Solly Kgangkenna

16:23 - 

Some good advice, perhaps?

16:22 - 

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa also said there is no power crisis.

Yip, that's what the minister said... missed it? Read here

16:19 - 

16:17 -

Petrol over R14, e-tolls, load shedding, looming electricity tariff hikes... have more to add?

woes, woes, woes 

16:14 -

16:11 -

News 24 user Tiger says he's been driving in and around Johannesburg: "Sixty percent of all robots not functioning, traffic is almost at a standstill."

16:09 - 

Wet coal? Seems Gigaba just gave the true reason why SA's without electricity:

"Last night, Eskom lost three units at Kendall power station [in Mpumalanga], as well as they had to reduce output at other power stations," Gigaba said.

He did however confirm that heavy rainfall in Mpumalanga had left the power utility's coal stocks wet. 

16:07 - 

This content producer's batteries are about to die!

16:01 -

15:57 -

15:51 - 

Staggered power cuts are likely to continue beyond Thursday, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

"It is anticipated this emergency will continue until after the evening peak tonight, and we will continue to manage the system," he told MPs in the National Assembly. - Sapa

15:49 - 

Metrorail remains unaffected by Eskom power outages because it is a priority electricity user critical to the country, says Prasa CEO Mosenngwa Mofi. 

15:48 - 

The City of Cape Town will maintain the current the schedule in order to ensure a fair distribution of the areas to be affected by Eskom’s load shedding. The public must please note that, due to the fluidity of the situation, we may not be required to implement the full schedule of load shedding and that the schedule remains subject to change.

 City load shedding schedules are available here

15:45 - 

Extent of Eskom's problem hidden from public:

For the last few years the true extent of Eskom's problems were concealed and the impact on the economy will be "disastrous", say experts.         

15:44 -

The City of Cape Town has been advised by Eskom that they have switched from Stage 3 (up to 400 MW to be shed) load shedding to Stage 2 load shedding (up to 20 0MW to be shed). 

15:37 -

The power outages are "as temporary as temporary can be". Once we get back to normality of drier weather this problem will be over, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

15:35 -

Cape Town's load shedding schedule for tonight:

15:33 -

15:32 -

15:31 -

We experienced a load shedding in Sunninghill today. On my way to Woodmead retail centre (around 12:10) driving in Maxwell drive most of the robots were not working. Funny enough there was one robots working - the robots at  Megawatts Eskom complex. Clearly shows that Eskom people had electricity while others were suffering. - News24 user Sipho Ficane 

15:25 - 

15:25 - 

The basic problem was that Eskom was a huge monopoly protected from competition - Peter Haylett

15:24 -

It rains every summer on the Highveld. It is a normal operational problem and one that is dealt with by simple planning.  This is not rocket science. - Peter Haylett

15:22 - 

We’ve heard the wet coal story before and it turned out that the real problem was that Eskom’s stockpile of coal had been allowed to run down to just a few days - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

15:22 -

Eskom’s failure to supply enough power had been like a brake on industry - Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

15:20 -

For the last few years it has been the mines and industry that have been forced to cut their power usage so that the lights could be kept on for the rest of us, says Peter Haylett, chair of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry's industrial focus portfolio committee.

 “This concealed the true extent of the problem from the public.” 

15:17 -

Load shedding schedules here:

15:16 -

15:13 - 

Weltevredenpark in Johannesburg still off since 11am - News24 user Brenda Carter

15:09 -

Eskom's main problem is maintenance needs, says John Kemp from Reuters in an opinion piece. 

15:06 -

15:05 - 

15:05 -

14:58 - 

Just in from News24 user Trudi Dahms:

"I live in Escombe, Queensburgh, Durban. Our electricity went off at 9am this morning. It's now 3pm and we still have no power. How much load shedding needs to be done? Unacceptable!"

14:57 -

The latest outages add to the country's woes at a time when it is lagging behind some of its African peers, with the Reserve Bank cutting its growth forecast to a four-year low of 2.8% for this year. - AFP

14:53 - 

News24 users Eddie Cockerill in Blackheath says his business is already feeling the brunt of the outages.

"Power went out @10 and came back on @12:30. We manufacture plastic materials. We had to restart out extruders and it takes 2.5hours for it to warm up again in order to start production. With the current schedule we will be off 3 times a day which only gives us 6 hours of production in a 24 hour working day. I can see a lot of unhappy clients/staff if this carries on."

14:51 -

The wave of power cuts being experienced throughout the country is a temporary setback, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. - Sapa

14:48 -

14:47 -

14:42 -

Load shedding causing delays at OR Tambo

14:31 -

Power management company Rural Maintenance has warned electricity users in parts of the eastern Free State who are not paying for power will be cut off.     

14:30 -

Eskom toughened its warnings. "To avoid possible power failure in your area, switch off everything besides your TV and one room light," Eskom told customers via its website. (Reuters)

14:29 -

14:27 -

14:23 -

Economists Dawie Roodt: "Off course the economy will be affected. In fact Eskom already said they requested their major customers to cut usage by (I think) 10%. In other instances Eskom is buying power back! All this means that production is being affected and it will impact on GDP growth! This is disastrous for an economy that is already on as weak growth trajectory!"

14:18 - 

Maybe government should speak to  people on the ground like News24 user Zakes Sehlapelo, a small business owner in Atteridgeville, Pretoria:

"I am the owner of SALON in Atteridgeville(Pta). I have been affected by the POWER FAILURE..I LOST LOT of customers from 09h00 till 12h30..this is bad really."

Or to Gerhard de Vletter:

"Hi, we have no power in Steenburg business park."

14:17 -

No financial impact of power cuts - govt

14:13 -

Government has not received any reports that the economy has been affected by power cuts, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

14:08 -

14:03 -

What is the first thing you'll do when the power comes back on?

Some ideas from other users:

Make coffee
Charge my phone
Eat something
Finish my assignment that's due at midnight

13:59 -

13:46 -

Power is expected to be restored in various suburbs of Johannesburg, says City Power.

13:40 -

Don't forget to check the map, overhead, to see which areas are affected.

13:38 -

When all else fails, blame the weather - Glen Vista

13:37 -

Benoni Industrial has been off the whole morning until 11:00 and residential area Beyerspark, Boksburg as well and is still off - News24 user Dirk Mohr

13:34 -

News24 user Phil Lloubser shaes George Municipality's load shedding schedule applicable to George for today 6th March 2014:

12h00 - 14h30
20h00 - 22h30
04h00 - 06h30 (Early hours of 7th March)

13:34 -

News24 user Victoria says electricity came back at 13h00 in Garsfontein.

13:30 -

News24 users Lindy Warren reports they just received notice from Cape Agulhas Municipality, after the load shedding today:

 Eskom has declared an emergency situation and has introduced load shedding, which will cause  power outages across the Overberg, including Cape Agulhas today (06 March 2014) from:

10H00 until 12h30;
18H00 until 20H30, and from 
02H00 until 04H30 tomorrow morning (07/03/2014).

13:21 -

Load shedding 'worst so far'

13:14 -

South Africans sure know how to lighten up any dark situation:

13:09 -

Dark days ahead for SA

12:56 -

Students, patients, small business owners... just abour everyone affected by Eskom's load shedding

I'm currently at St Adian's Hospital in Durban to pick up my mom after eye treatment, the hospital went dark an hour ago, the computers are down, we have been waiting since then. - News24 user Hlengiwe Mvemve

We live in Zevenwacht in Kuilsriver and our power has been off without warning since just before 11 this morning. - News24 user Ankia Niemann

I stay in Amberfield Centurion, ours started right after the 12h00 news bulletin, immediately after the presenter announced that load shedding was to start officially. Talk about perfect timing. - News24 user Dolly

12:51 -

City of Cape Town's Neil Ballantyne says the city was doing everything it can to help Eskom for the sake of its residents.

12:49 - 

Unlike in 2008, the rand is taking outages in its stride, firming to R10.65 against the dollar, its strongest since mid-January, while the Johannesburg stock market's All-Share index hit a record high. (Reuters)

12:45 - 

Unconfirmed, but we'll try to verify:

12:41 - 

Maybe practising for a protest outside Eskom's HQ?

We hungry already
No cooking 
No money for ready food
- News24 user Nicholus Mukhethwa Nelukalo

12:36 -

Blackouts are widespread. Are you of the lucky few not affected? Let us know!

Hi, I see Observatory, Cape Town isn't on the map. The power is out here too - Darryn

St Dumas, Kuilsriver without power

No power in Sundowner and North Riding - J Hendriks

Load shedding in Wierda Park since 9 o clock this morning and also in the Brooklyn area. -Cheryl Fourie


12:27 -

Everyone's a loser in SA's coal crisis ... or maybe not:

Executives from Exxaro, South Africa's second-largest coal producer, were giving a results presentation to investors in a building that also had to switch to a back-up generator.

Exxaro reported a rise in full-year earnings today, owing to strong performance in its coal business.

12:25 -

More places being affected - updates courtesy News24 users:

Load shedding at Midrand from around 11:30 - Yvonne Kgaka

Load shedding has started in Kraaifontein, Scttsdene - Chris

Kya Sand Randburg is down - Martin du Toit

Midrand has been affected; places around 5th road - 7th road. The rest stil need to be confirmed.

12:22 -

12:20 -

Eskom said the situation was "not looking good" for Friday, with more heavy rain forecast. (Reuters)

12:20 -

This is the fourth energy emergency declared in just as many months and "it's the worst one so far," according to an Eskom official who asked not to be named. (AFP)

12:20 - 

Unlike in previous "power emergencies" declared in the last two weeks, Eskom was forced to impose blackouts on urban areas. (Reuters)

12:11 -

12:06 - 

Latest in from News24 users:

We live in Kempton Park. Been without power since 08:30. It is now almost midday - Rose Clark

The power has been cut in White River for 2 hours so far - Hilton Barnett

Outrageous 3rd world service by Eskom! For next 2 months we have stage 3 load shedding which means 10am-2:30pm and 22pm-2:30am 7 days a week (SEVEN days per week). 

WHY is South Africa supplying Botswana with electricity if there is a supply problem in South Africa? Have they no brains?! - Diane Priest

Kathu,Northern Cape affected, it's been an hour and a half now. So frustrated!

12:05 -

Sarcasm maybe...?


Eskom 1 - Oscar 0

11:58 - 

11:54 -

Power outages are a leading cause of business interruption in SA and the economic impact is likely to increase even more, warns an expert.

11:52 -

11:46 - 

Just a reminder: Electricity will go up by 8% from 1 April.

11:41 -

Wow, was wondering when the e-tolls connection gonna come:

11:37 -

Most News24 users say a warning would've been nice:

The Township of Umlazi is in the Dark, I just feel sorry for the Shop owner because we didn't even get a warning of load shedding in our area. So please Eskom, can you let us know the day before so that we can prepare ourselves? - Khule Martin Mhlongo

If it's load shedding that caused our electricity to go out without any notification or explanation then that's what we have on our hand! - Odette from Knysna

Elandsfontein – tripswitch drive power went out about 5 min ago probably load shedding - Roelof Steenkamp

A warning in the west beach area would of been appreciated - Kelly Cloete

Without any warning, while working on my computer this morning at 9h00, everything went black and remained so for two hours. I live in Cape Town. If Eskom can’t keep their coal dry because it rains in the north of the country, they could start there. This is extremely annoying. - Gilbert Strauss

Ermelo is off since 10 o'clock this morning. No warning! No load shedding schedule on Eskom's load shedding website!  - Anonymous

I'm sitting at work, no telephone, no electricity. All my work has to be done on the computer and by telephone. - Elize Barnett

11:36 -

11:30 -

Quick translation:

Have taken STANDBY out of storage, I can see we're going to need him.

11:27 - 

Frustration doesn't begin to describe this News24 user's feelings:

Glenhazel and surrounding areas. Very frustrating. Load of bloody nonsense. Last minute notice. How dare they. How long for. Till ten tonight. Welcome to south africa. Get a cover for ur coal. Wake up. What an excuse - News24 user Susan

11:25 - 

From Metrorail: Hi @LaurenH_ZA currently only the Central Line is experiencing delays due to load shedding.

11:20 -

PE starts load shedding

11:18 - 

I'm in Pietermaritzburg and there are no lights at all. It has started, thanks to you guys we stay updated. I didn't even know there was a load shedding - NB Mkhize

Glad we could shed light on what's going on...

11:17 - 

11:14 - 

Plattekloof not so lucky: "I live in the Plattekloof area and the whole of N1 City shopping centre is in darkness, most robots are also out. It's all actually quiet scary, when will the power be back on?" -  Tatum Beukman 

11:12 - 

Power back up in Noordhoek, according to News24 user Sonja Borodin-Sleigh: "Just come back online in Noordhoek – 2 hours on the dot without power. Wish we had been warned. I could not get my car out of the garage!"

11:11 - 

11:05 -

Small business owners are suffering...

Load shedding in my area since 8:30am. I have a business and no stock is going off due to this. Area is Warwick Triangle, Durban - News24 user Durian Subramanian

We operate a beauty salon in Newlands in Cape Town and we have no power! We are turning customers away and loosing money every second as we cannot operate without power. Thanks very much Eskom! - News24 user Jonathan Sydow

We were  out of electricity in Durban central from 8:30 this morning and it's affecting a lot of local businesses around the area - News24 user Sbusisio Madlala

10:58 -


10:50 - 

No reason to miss out: Get the latest updates from day 4 of Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court.

10:49 - 

10:48 - 

Load shedding in Hatfield. Traffic disaster in Jan Shoba

(News24 user, Christiaan Fensham)

10:46 - 

What are people supposed to do with freezers full of food? 

(News24 user Bruce Silson)

10:46 -

City of Cape Town media release:

The City of Cape Town was informed this morning by the National Eskom Control Centre that they are initiating and have already started implementing Stage 3 load shedding. Stage 3 is the highest level of load shedding possible. Here is the list of main stations, suburbs and times that are scheduled for load shedding. The City will keep residents and business informed of any updates.

Whilst the City is doing everything in its power to assist Eskom for the sake of our residents and businesses, it is important to note that the City is wholly reliant on Eskom for the electricity supply to the entire city. The City is only responsible for electricity distribution in certain parts of the city.

If a customer’s electricity supply remains off for longer than the period specified in the attached tables, they should please send an SMS to the City’s technical operations centre on 31220. In certain cases the restoration of power results in what is known as ‘nuisance tripping’ which often goes unreported due to the assumption that the outage is due to the load shedding.

The City regrets the inconvenience caused, but would like to assure residents that all areas are treated fairly whether they are supplied by the City or by Eskom.

Customers can do their part by switching off all non-essential appliances and by monitoring their usage. Please note the constraints on the electricity supply are felt throughout the day during the summer months i.e. there is no ‘evening peak’. As such, responsible consumer practices should please be applied throughout the day.

Any further queries should be directed to Eskom.

Eskom load shedding schedules are at: 

10:35 - 

Metrorail says it is not aware of trains being affected by the load shedding. Send us your accounts.

10:31 -

Consumers asked to help

Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, pool pumps, and all non-essential appliances throughout the day. Power cuts will stop if the necessary savings are made and the situation improves - Eskom press release.

10:28 - 

I'm in Durban Central, old West Street. Electricity went out (about 10 o'clock), no phones, no PC's. Basically no work can be done, our customers can't be assisted, so we're sitting ducks.

(News24 user Melissa Govender)

10:27 - senior designer Terina le Roux reports that the whole of Vredendal is without power.

10:25 - 

10:20 - 

More in from News24 users:

I am in Protea Village in Brackenfell, Cape Town. The power went off exactly at 10am. When will the power go on again? So annoying - Jamynn van Dyk 

We're in Brackenfell Clicks Cape Gate, the mall been affected highly  - it's all dark in the mall.

Power went out in Kenilworth at 10.05

Power just cut over here in Rondebosch, Cape Town - Christina B 

Jamestown Stellenbosch has been without electricity since 08:30

10:18 - 

10:14 - 

Retailers having a field trip advertising specials on household energy kits, solar lamps, wood and charcoal (hint for a braai?), charges and other power supply gadgets.

10:13 -

Looming power blackouts undermine rand


From an anonymous user:

I just had a look at our load shedding schedule and saw that the Cape Town CBD is not on the load shedding list at all. This is very unfair as the rest of the City all have our share of load shedding but the CBD are spared. I would like the City to explain to us why we are not all shed and why some are better than others.

10:00 -

Did electricity become an election issue?

9:57 -

9:55 -

Eskom on Thursday urged consumers to switch off all non-essential appliances to reduce the impact of rotational power cuts.

"Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, pool pumps, and all non-essential appliances throughout the day," it said in a statement.

Power cuts would be stopped if the necessary savings were made and the situation improved.

9:44 -

Three reasons for Eskom power cuts

9:43 -

9:41 -

Adrian Taylor reports no power in Tokai

9:40 -

Fin24 Inside Labour columnist Terry Bell says power out in Muizenberg.

9:39 -

9:35 -

Mitchell's plains has been affected... Getting ready for a funeral all the lights went out!!!

(News24 User)

9:31 - 

9:23 - I live in Glencairn, Western Cape and our power went off at 8.25 am with absolutely no warning or idea on how long for.

If Eskom want to load shed, then a warning and an idea of duration to their customers would be a good idea and not when people are getting ready for the day. 

(Shelley Pope, News24 User)

9:18 - 

9:10 - Eskom media release:

Eskom will start implementing rotational load shedding from 09:00 this morning according to the published load shedding schedules available at for Eskom customers. Municipal customers need to contact their own municipalities for the correct schedules. Eskom customers can also contact our customer call centre on 0860 037 566. 

Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, pool pumps and all non-essential appliances throughout the day to further reduce the impact of rotational load shedding.  

We anticipate that we will be load shedding until 22:00 tonight. However, should we receive the necessary savings from all our customers and the situation improves, we will terminate load shedding earlier.

Customers are cautioned to treat all electrical connections as live during this period.

Eskom will provide regular updates on the status of the power system through all media platforms. 

Eskom had declared an emergency at 06:00 this morning and asked key industrial customers to reduce load by 10%.


9:01 - Aaaarg. The whole Table View Montague Gardens, Ridgeway,  Milnerton and Pearl so far.   NO WARNING.
             (Debbie van Niekerk, News24 User)

Read more on:    eskom  |  load shedding  |  electricity

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