Eskom said its power system is under severe pressure and asked South Africans to switch off all unnecessary lights, geysers, pool pumps, and non-essential appliances.
While there was no mention of potential load-shedding, this warning is typically a precursor to power cuts.
It is currently not clear why the system is under pressure and whether unexpected breakdowns are to blame.
If load-shedding is implemented, it will not come as a surprise. Last month Eskom said it expects power constraints to persist for at least the next year.
The power producer added that load shedding may extend into 2022 depending on the pressure on the system.
Other experts, however, expect the situation to be much worse than what Eskom is predicting.
Research by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) warned that South Africa should brace itself for exponential increases to load-shedding until 2022.
“Not only will load-shedding continue over the next few years – it will get significantly worse,” said Dr Jarrad Wright and Joanne Calitz of the CSIR.
Energy expert Ted Blom, in turn, said South Africa could be stuck with load-shedding until at least 2025 due to Eskom’s continued problems.
He expects load-shedding to get worse over the next year as there are still “turf wars” and corruption taking place inside Eskom, resulting in inadequate maintenance and major shortfalls in the quality of the maintenance.
08 October 2020
Our power system is under severe pressure. Please switch off all unnecessary lights, your geyser, pool pump and non-essential appliances. pic.twitter.com/XzIkDrvT9C
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) October 8, 2020