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Eskom announces all-day stage 6 load-shedding — with bad news for the weekend

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Eskom will bump up load-shedding to stage 6 on Thursday afternoon and throughout Friday, while the weekend will also require continuous load-shedding at stage 4.

The utility said it was compelled to take this “unprecedented step” to conserve emergency generation capacity and safeguard the power system amid a continued unlawful strike by its workers.

At the time of its announcement, the utility had 17,467MW of capacity unavailable due to breakdowns and 3,161MW of generation out on planned maintenance.

“Due to the unlawful and unprotected strike, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, Eskom is still unable to return some generators to service,” Eskom said.

“The high levels of staff absenteeism and intimidation of working employees in some of the power stations is still rife.”

“This has made it difficult to conduct routine maintenance and other operational requirements, which will further impact the reliability of generation units.”

The load-shedding schedule for the next few days is summarised below:

  • Thursday, 30 June 2022, 14:00-00:00 — Stage 6
  • Friday, 1 July 2022, 00:00-05:00 — Stage 4 
  • Friday, 1 July 2022, 05:00-00:00 — Stage 6
  • Rest of weekend — Stage 4

Eskom said the risk remained that the stage of load-shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant.

The utility thanked those workers who had reported for duty to perform “diligently under extremely challenging conditions”.

Eskom echoed calls from unions for workers to return to work immediately.

“The unlawful strike has a serious detrimental impact not only on Eskom, but also on the broader South African public and economy,” the utility said.

“Union members, who work in a designated essential service, have a legal and moral obligation to return to work in order safeguard South Africa from further load-shedding.”

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