Eskom says it expects that there will be no load shedding from Friday going into the weekend. However, Stage 2 load shedding will continue until 10 o’ clock on Thursday night.

The power utility said it has successfully returned four generation units to service, making available more than one 1 500 megawatt capacity to the system.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says this took total generation capacity returned to the grid since the implementation of load shedding on Friday to 3 500 megawatt.

Meanwhile, energy analyst Chris Yelland has projected that Eskom’s intermittent load shedding will continue for the next 18 months. He says the power utility’s latest electricity usage figures show that consumers are using lower-than-projected electricity this winter.

Eskom changed from Stage 1 to Stage 2 load shedding at 9 o’clock this morning.

Eskom says the high demand for electricity because of the cold of weather has put an additional strain on its generating system.

Yelland says the power utility has not been conducting the necessary deep maintenance protocols at some of their plants as it had earlier promised.

“I believe we can expect intermittent load shedding for the next 18 months. It’s not me that’s saying that. It’s Eskom that is telling us that the equipment needs deep level maintenance and until they do that maintenance, they are going to have problems. When you do a deep level maintenance you have to take generators out of service for typically, two to three months. So, while you are doing the maintenance, a lot of generators are not available to service.”