Eskom is implementing stage three rolling blackouts “due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations,” it stated on its website on Friday.
It said rolling blackouts would be used “under emergency conditions for limited periods”.
It said three schedules had been developed, based on the possibility of risk and to ensure it was applied fairly and equitably.
Stage one allowed for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2000MW and stage three for up to 4000MW.
On the website, it said load-shedding would generally be implemented in two hour blocks, plus 30 minutes for switching between blocks, from 5am to 9.30pm.
Load shedding schedules for municipal schedules are available here. Click on your municipality to see days and times affected.
Direct Eskom customers can search for their suburbs here.
Eskom said on Thursday that the electricity system would be under severe strain over the weekend, and it requested municipalities to reduce demand by load-shedding their customers.
The City of Johannesburg and City Power will remotely switch off geyser control systems to certain areas at specific times to manage electricity control across the city, it said on Friday.
“We also appeal to large power users and key business customers to reduce their usage of electricity by switching off all non-essential machinery, and other appliances, such as air conditioners and lighting,” it said in a statement.
“City Power also requests domestic customers and medium and small enterprises to reduce their electricity consumption by switching off non-essential appliances, such as office and basement lights, where possible.”
City Power and the City of Johannesburg said customers should visit their websites to confirm the rolling blackout schedule, and have torches and lanterns at hand to light up their homes. The City Power website showed an error message when Moneyweb tried to access it at 14:33.
“Have candles and other alternative lighting systems available, ensure your security system has appropriate battery back-up, and find food and refreshments before the blackouts start.”
On Thursday, Eskom said it was planning countrywide power cuts over the weekend to build up reserves.
“The electricity system will remain constrained tomorrow [Friday] and the risk of load-shedding remains high,” it said in a statement at the time.
“Eskom has also taken a decision to load shed over the weekend in order to build up reserves for the week ahead.”
The Nelson Mandela municipality said rolling blackouts started in the area at 11am.
In a statement, the municipality said it was highly probable there would be blackouts over the weekend. “As always, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will implement load shedding in accordance with the schedule which is attached hereto,” it said.