Eskom says it will take at least 12 months to repair 59 power-generating units that it needs to operate at optimal capacity.
The utility says that the electricity grid is under severe pressure and additional power units were lost overnight.
Stage 2 loadshedding is underway across parts of the country and will continue until 22:00.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says repairing the generating units will cost about R11 billion.
He says at least three power stations lost some of their generating capacity on Friday morning.
Phasiwe says it will be a long and rough road to meeting the electricity demand in South Africa.
He confirmed that load shedding could continue right through the December holidays.
The risk of load shedding is there, including possibly the whole of December I'm afraid.— Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson
There's a huge backlog in terms of maintenance and Eskom is trying to catch up.— Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson
The demand is outpacing the ability of Eskom to bring back to service these units.— Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson
Listen to the discussion with Khulu Phasiwe: