Eskom has implemented Stage 4 loadshedding since Saturday afternoon and the utility has warned that South Africans should be prepared for that to continue.

At the weekend two lines supplying power to South Africa from the Cahora Bassa power plant in Mozambique went offline due to damage caused by Cyclone Idai.

As a result, Eskom was forced to implement Stage 4 loadshedding on Saturday afternoon.

This trend continued through to Sunday and late last night the utility warned that today would see the return of Stage 4 load shedding.

“Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented on Monday, 18 March from 09h00 to 23h00. On Tuesday 19 March up to Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented,” said Eskom.

“We remind customers that loadshedding at Stage 4 is no cause for alarm as the system is being effectively controlled. Loadshedding is a highly controlled process, implemented to protect the system and to prevent a total collapse of the system or a national blackout. During Stage 4 loadshedding, approximately 80% of the country’s demand is still being met,” the power utility explained in a statement.

Whether loadshedding will continue through the night as it has over the weekend remains to be seen.

So what is Stage 4 loadshedding?

For those that experience loadshedding in two hour blocks you can expect to have the power go out 12 times over a four day period.

Those who experience loadshedding in four hour blocks will have the power cut 12 times over an eight day period. This essentially means that you will experience loadshedding twice (or more) in a day and the chances that you won’t be loadshed are minimal at best.

Check out the two schedules below to get a better idea of how much the frequency of rotational power cuts ramps up from Stage 2 to Stage 4.

Eskom has said that its maintenance teams are working around the clock to restore the lines to Mozambique.

In the meantime, as South Africans we can help Eskom slightly by lessening the demand on the grid. Switch off your geyser and other non-essential appliances and be frugal in your use of electricity.

Loadshedding schedules can be found on the official Eskom loadshedding website if your bill comes directly from the utility. For those that receive their bill from a municipality you’ll have to check that website or contact them directly.

[Image – M. Maggs from Pixabay]