Load shedding has been escalated to Stage 4 and will continue until midnight. Eskom says its a precautionary measure to conserve emergency generation reserves.
Over the weekend the power cuts will be from 5am until midnight.
Earlier Eskom warned of a higher risk of intensified load shedding due to worker protests.
It said over the past 24 hours there have been protests at nine power stations and other facilities. It has accused the protesters of intimidating those opting to work and blockading roads leading to the plants – hindering the flow of personnel and commodities for power generation.
The striking workers are reportedly unhappy about the wage talks that deadlocked on Tuesday.
But Metalworkers’ union Numsa has blamed the power utility for the collapse in wage talks.
It says Eskom declared a dispute and walked out of negotiations after being asked to account. Numsa wanted to know why Eskom was taking money meant for workers, and using it to pay billions to diesel suppliers, owners of coal contracts and Independent Power Producers (IPP’s). It believes that these contracts are corrupt.