South Africans have reacted with frustration to the return of load-shedding on Monday afternoon, with many taking to social media to vent.
Eskom initially announced that the lights would go off at 9pm, but 20 minutes later moved the starting time forward by four hours.
Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the cuts were due to “multiple generating unit failures in the past 24 hours”.
“Further development … Medupi unit 3 broke down a short while ago. This requires stage 2 load-shedding to be implemented continuously starting at 5pm this afternoon until 5am on Wednesday,” the updated information said.
The power utility said total breakdowns amounted to 14,508MW, while planned maintenance was 6,307MW of capacity.
“While we expect some generation units to return to service over the next 24 hours, Eskom appeals to all South Africans to help us limit the impact of load-shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items,” Eskom said.
Many took to social media to share their shock at the “short notice” they were given and their frustration at the return of rolling blackouts.
Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said load-shedding made “no sense” at a time when Eskom was given a large tariff increase, and reaffirmed his commitment to ending load-shedding in his city.
“We’re back in stage 2 load-shedding, just a week after Eskom gets a 9.61% price increase! Higher prices, less power. Makes no sense. This is why we have to go as quickly as possible to end load-shedding in Cape Town.”