Stage 6 load shedding will be implemented starting Thursday afternoon, with only a brief reduction to Stage 4 overnight before returning to the higher stage on Friday, Eskom says.
“The high levels of employee absenteeism and intimidation of workers at some power plants is still widespread. This has made it difficult to carry out routine maintenance and other operational requirements, which will further affect the reliability of the generating units,” the utility said.
Employees are on a wildcat strike for higher wages and negotiations are resuming taken on Friday.
Eskom currently has 3,161 MW for scheduled maintenance while another 17,467 MW of capacity is unavailable due to outages.
As a result, stage 6 of load shedding will be implemented from Thursday 2 p.m to midnight.
Level 4 load shedding will then be implemented from midnight to Friday 5 am.
From Friday 5 am to midnight, level 6 load shedding will be implemented.
“At least level 4 will be required continuously over the weekend.”
Eskom said the unprotected strike caused widespread disruption at its power plants and was unable to do so ge generators back online.
“Eskom is compelled to take this unprecedented step to preserve backup power generation capacity to sa protect the power system.”
Eskom urged its employees to heed the union leadership’s call for an immediate return to work, saying: “The unlawful strike is having serious adverse effects not only on Eskom but also on the broader SA public and economy. Union members working in a designated essential service have a legal and moral obligation to return to work to protect SA from further load shedding.”
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