Eskom will introduce stage 2 load shedding from 22h00 on Saturday (4 January) until 08h00 on Sunday (5 January).

In a statement on Saturday evening, the embattled power utility said that it was forced to reintroduce power cuts due to an unanticipated belt failure at the Medupi power station.

“While a number of units are being brought back online following repairs and maintenance, it is essential to implement Stage 2 load shedding.

“This is in order to help us replenish both our water levels at pumped storage schemes and diesel for our open-cycle gas turbines in order to create adequate reserve capacity to place us an in a better position to stabilise for the week ahead as South Africa returns to work.”

Eskom said it will provide regular updates during the course of Sunday as it prepares for the week ahead.

Earlier this week, energy expert Ted Blom warned that load shedding may be a reality for at least the next five years as Eskom sorts out its coal problems and its maintenance backlog.

The power utility said that it did not plan to load shed areas over the festive season, but warned that the system remained constrained and the risk of load shedding remained.

Read: Eskom secures R6 billion loan for massive new battery project