Eskom will initiate stage 4 load-shedding from 14:00 on Friday.
Eskom said on Twitter that available capacity has gone down and demand has increased.
“The increase in the load-shedding stage is intended, among other things, to cater for further unplanned trips and to create capacity to replenish water reserves for our pumped storage schemes.”
For now, the prognosis is that Eskom will implement stage 4 load shedding between 14:00 and 06:00 tomorrow.
The escalation to stage 4 load-shedding has also been reflected on popular load-shedding app EskomSePush.
The power utility previously initiated stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 on Thursday, which concluded on Friday at 05:00.
It also announced earlier on Friday morning that Stage 2 load-shedding would restart at 09:00 and would continue until 06:00 on Saturday.
“As the electricity system continues to remain under severe pressure with unplanned breakdowns remaining above 12,500MW, Stage 2 load-shedding will regrettably be implemented from 09:00 until 06:00 tomorrow morning,” Eskom said.
The power utility said it was using diesel at its open-cycle gas turbine to supplement its capacity and limit the amount of load-shedding taking place.
Eskom added that its technical teams would continue to work around the clock to return additional power units to the grid, but incessant rain was also causing coal-handling problems at numerous power plants.
“This could further impact supply as the rainy weather persists. While not expected or planned, further deterioration of plant performance or the emergence of other risks may necessitate invoking further stages of load-shedding.”
Eskom confirmed that the rain did result in coal-handling issues, which contributed towards the load-shedding escalation.
“If the wet persists, we are likely to implement load-shedding throughout the weekend,” Eskom said.