Beginning Thursday, South Africans will experience Stage 6 load shedding from 4 pm to 5 am, apart from Stage 5, which will be from 5 am to 4 pm, until further notice.

Eskom, which is responsible for providing electricity throughout the country, noted that over the past 24 hours, two power generators were returned to Kriel Power Station located in Mpumalanga province in eastern South Africa.

"In the same period, a generating unit at Duvha Power Station was taken offline for repairs," Eskom said on Wednesday, SA News reported. "The delays in returning a unit to service at Camden, Kendal, Lethabo, Medupi and Tutuka power stations have contributed to the capacity constraints."

The energy company further added that the increase in demand for electricity after the long weekend alongside the re-opening of schools "has put additional strain on the power generating system."

"We thank all South Africans who continue using electricity sparingly and efficiently in helping to alleviate the pressure on the power system," Eskom added.

Till Wednesday afternoon, the load shedding amounted to 16,772 MW of energy being offline along with a further 5,807 MW being offline due to maintenance.

Earlier this month, Stage 3 and Stage 4 were announced and earlier this week, Stage 5 load shedding was implemented.

Eskom disclosed on Monday afternoon that there have been unplanned breakdowns leading to 14,940 megawatts of generating capacity. Meanwhile, the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is now at 7,215 megawatts.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa addressed the electricity crisis last week, noting he was "more than confident" that South Africa's load-shedding problem will be resolved despite all the challenges at Eskom.

"I am sure that once I go to Cabinet and map out what these options [to solve challenges at power stations] are, we should be able to say that these are the timelines," Ramokgopa earlier said. "We know that the [EAF]...explains why there is a deficit between the generation and the demand and the quest is to close that gap."

Ramokgopa also advised citizens to switch off geysers to help cut load-shedding stages, and assured South Africans that they won't see any higher stages of load-shedding than Stage 6.

The electricity minister claimed last month during his visit to the Kusile Power Station that the load-shedding issue was a technical problem and had nothing to do with corruption.

"With the issues on the units that have gone out as a result of the structural integrity and design components, they have nothing to do with corruption," he said. "This is everything to do with technical designs. There are significant modifications that they are making and I am happy with what they are proposing."

Ramokgopa visited a total of 14 power stations in March after President Cyril Ramaphosa committed the same following the former's appointment as electricity minister on March 1.

South Africa's Eskom to reduce power cuts but long-term outlook bleak