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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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High risk of stage 6 loadshedding from Tuesday afternoon, Eskom warns

Zodwa Ndlozi, who has a cooking business, has been hard hit by load shedding as she has to spend money on gas which she can’t afford. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Zodwa Ndlozi, who has a cooking business, has been hard hit by load shedding as she has to spend money on gas which she can’t afford. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 28, 2022

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The risk of moving to Stage 6 load shedding is high and will be confirmed by 2pm, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Tuesday.

In an urgent briefing called by the power utility on Tuesday morning, De Ruyter announced that Eskom would probably be forced to implement Stage 6 load shedding because unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations had caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs.

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The full staff complement had not reported for duty at a number of power stations. As a result, generation losses had not been reduced as planned, which had compelled Eskom to consider raising the load shedding stage, he said.

In essence, Stage 6 load shedding means that South Africans will experience about 10 hours of power cuts in a day.

Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer warned that should the unlawful action continue, the risk for higher stages of load shedding may increase up to Stage 8.

Eskom appealed to its labour partners and striking employees to put the people of South Africa first, respect the law and to desist from unlawful and undemocratic conduct.

Eskom called for the labour dispute resolution process to be allowed to run its course without illegal acts of intimidation and damage to property.

“We clearly need to resolve the matter. We have a situation that is not sustainable.

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“Those workers who are striking, we urge you to respect the law. It is highly regrettable that the entire interests of the country is at risk … but we urge these workers to refrain from acts of violence and intimidation,” De Ruyter said.

He added that the longer the strike action continued, the further the backlog of maintenance, adding to the strain on the already struggling power grid.

Eskom will consider all legal options at its disposal for damage caused or incited by union representatives.

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