In view of the persistent energy capacity constraints facing South Africa, it is important to know the Eskom load shedding schedule, sometimes on a daily basis.
The schedules help South Africans plan their days and even weeks better because power cuts have unfortunately become much more regular now.
In a recent briefing on the power system, Eskom said it aims to keep unplanned outages below 13,000MW of capacity to avoid load shedding. However, if outages are above 14,500MW, it would have to implement stage 2 load shedding. It will implement higher stages if outages rise above 16,000MW.
Eskom load shedding schedule today
South Africans living in metros can check their Eskom load shedding schedule today by visiting their metro websites below:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Ekurhuleni
- City of Tshwane
- City of Cape Town (PDF)
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Buffalo City
For direct Eskom customers, the power utility has made its schedules available on its website. Here, you can do a quick search for your suburb, village or area or do an advanced search to see when to expect blackouts.
Additionally, municipal customers can find their schedules on Eskom’s distribution website. Simply click on your province’s link followed by your municipality’s link to view when your area will be affected.
‘No quick fix’
Meanwhile, in a recent newsletter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that there is “no quick fix” to load shedding. He however insisted that the government is making progress in implementing the decisions he announced in July.
“Given the unpredictable performance of Eskom’s fleet of coal-fired power stations, we will not be able to eliminate load shedding in the short term. This is the unfortunate reality of our situation, which has had a long history,” the President stated
“Our goal in the immediate term, however, is to reduce the frequency and severity of load shedding by addressing power station breakdowns.”
South Africa has endured years or rolling blackouts that started in 2007. The government decided to build two new power stations to address the crisis, but construction was hampered by design defects, cost overruns and years of delays.
The older power stations could no longer keep up with the demand, leading to frequent breakdowns. In recent years, the government has expanded its renewable energy programme to help address capacity shortfalls. However, much of the new capacity is only expected from 2024 onwards.