Eskom is struggling with rundown coal-fired plants which require repairs and hefty maintenance

Eskom announced stage 4 of load shedding on Wednesday, despite Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa's efforts to reduce the frequency of power cuts.

Stage 4 load shedding means the citizens have to live without electricity for four hours, 12 times, over the span of eight days.

Energy company Eskom, responsible for supplying electricity across the country, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday to announce that Stage 4 of load shedding will continue until further notice.

"Due to insufficient emergency reserves and generation capacity as a result of four units not returning to service as planned, Stage 4 load shedding was implemented this morning at 02:31 until further notice," the company shared. "Eskom will monitor the system and communicate should any significant changes occur."

The announcement came a day after the company promised Stage 2 and Stage 3 combination of load shedding.

Meanwhile, the minister took to X on Wednesday to share a series of photos from his visit to the Lethabo Power Station, the second-best performing station of Eskom. Ramokgopa wrote, "Today we visited Lethabo Power Station, in the Free State during our follow-up visits to Eskom power stations. We were received by the station's manager, Mr. Karabo Rabgolela upon arrival."

Ramokgopa encouraged Lethabo Power Station workers to ensure the station provided high performance.

"When units fail...just remember what that does to the South African economy and the poor. Remember what that does to the national fiscus and our ability to meet our promise to take care of the poor, ensure that people remain in employment and ensure that we are able to realise growth," the minister said during his visit to Free Stat-based power station on the same day.

He said that the purpose of his visit was to appreciate and thank all the workers at the power stations, adding that there was more work to be done. The minister also said that the department was working on a new generation capacity, as the country can't completely rely on Eskom.

Ramokgopa added, "We need additional generation capacity and here I'm talking of gas. We are working on gas – 3000MW – and we are also working on connecting the renewables, solar PV and wind."

"I have been assigned the responsibility of coming back to Cabinet with a financing model proposition on how we are going to expand and strengthen the grid," the minister concluded.