Eskom announce late Wednesday night of the Stage three power cuts expected to start on Thursday from 8am until 10pm.
This was after stage 4 load shedding, which allows for up to 4 000 MW to be shed from the grid – had been implemented earlier in the day on Wednesday.
After a day on stage 3, the country would return to stage 2 at 22:00 on Thursday night, Eskom said.
While the power utility said there had been a “slight improvement” in generation performance the course of Wednesday, there had been further breakdowns at Kusile, Matla and Tutuka power stations, meaning stage 3 load shedding would be necessary while emergency reserves were replenished.
Shortly before 23:00 on Wednesday, breakdowns totalled just under 14 000 MW, while planned maintenance was at 1 273 MW of capacity.
Eskom has a total generating capacity of around 47 000 MW.