Eskom suspends load-shedding for five hours

Eskom has announced that it will suspend load-shedding from midnight until 05:00 on Tuesday thanks to a significant reduction in breakdowns.

While power cuts will return in the morning, Eskom plans to reduce them by a stage.

“Owing to the further improvement in available generation capacity with breakdowns significantly reduced to 12,582MW of generation capacity, stage 3 load-shedding will be suspended at midnight tonight until 05:00 tomorrow,” Eskom said.

“Thereafter, stage 1 load-shedding will resume from 05:00 until 16:00, followed by stage 3 load-shedding from 16:00 until 05:00 on Wednesday.”

The state-owned power utility said it was closely monitoring the system performance, and would communicate a further update tomorrow.

Eskom’s relaxed load-shedding schedule comes after it announced slightly reduced load-shedding from noon on Monday, 18 September 2023, due to an improvement in generation capacity and performance.

It was also able to provide a 23-hour reprieve from power cuts over the past weekend.

One of the major contributors to Eskom’s recent increased generation availability is the return of the 800MW Kusile Unit 4, which had been taken offline for 20 days of planned maintenance.

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has also said that the power station’s Units 1, 2, and 3, which were taken offline after a flue-gas desulphurisation chimney collapse in October 2022, could return between October and November 2023.

“We’ve been able to shed a month on the return of Unit 3, and the expectation is that we should be able to return this unit by 14 October,” Ramokgopa said. “The same is applicable for Unit 1. We should be able to get it on 30 October.”

The return to service of Unit 2 has been moved forward from 24 December to 30 November.

These three units have a combined capacity of 2,100MW, roughly equivalent to two stages of load-shedding.

The table below summarises Eskom’s updated load-shedding plans for tonight and tomorrow.

Load-shedding schedule until further notice
Date Day Daytime (05:00–16:00) Evening peak (16:00–05:00)
18 September Monday Stage 1 Stage 3
(Suspended from 00:00–05:00)
19 September Tuesday Stage 1 Stage 3
20 September Wednesday TBD TBD

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Eskom suspends load-shedding for five hours