Eskom has announced that it will implement Stage 6 load shedding on Thursday from 14:00 to midnight, followed by Stage 4 until 05:00 on Friday – this as worker absenteeism remains high, making it difficult for the utility to conduct routine maintenance on its systems and other operational requirements.
Stage 6 will continue throughout Friday from 05:00, and a minimum of Stage 4 is to be expected continuously over the weekend.
No protest planned at Eskom’s head office on Friday, says Numsa
Gordhan hopes all Eskom staff will return to work, as wage negotiations resume
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According to the power utility, the workers who are reporting to work continue to face intimidation from disgruntled Eskom employees, despite the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan calling for their return to work on Tuesday.
Owing to the illegal and unprotected wage strike – which began on 22 June – Eskom says there has been widespread disruption to its power plants, and it is still unable to return some generators to service, adding that the load shedding escalation is the only option it has to protect its systems.
The utility has also warned consumers that the risk to further adjust load shedding schedules remains.
Eskom systems are currently highly compromised, with 3 161 megawatts (MW) of capacity out on planned maintenance while a further 17 467MW unavailable due to breakdowns.
The utility has called on union members to return to work, as they are legally obligated to do, to aid in the system’s recovery.
“The unlawful strike has a serious detrimental impact not only on Eskom, but also on the broader South African public and economy,” it added.