State power utility Eskom said on Monday it would implement staggered powercuts, a day after enforcing the first load shedding since December 9 as its generating capacity came under renewed pressure.

“Eskom will implement Stage 2 rotational load shedding from 09h00 today and is likely to continue until 22:00,” said the struggling utility, which has asked for annual tariff increases about three times the consumer inflation rate over the next three years.

“Although a number of generating units have returned to service as per the 9-point recovery plan, regrettably additional units continue to trip. This results in a shortage of generation capacity,” it added.

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Stage 2 powercuts mean 2,000 MW of electricity demand is curtailed at any given time, on a rotation basis, to protect the national power system from a total collapse or blackout.

Eskom has warned that this latest phase of load shedding could last until April.

It urged residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly on Monday, including switching off geysers, non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to reduce demand pressure.

– African News Agency