File Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA.

Johannesburg - Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 1 loadshedding on Tuesday evening as the ongoing industrial action continues to disrupt operations at the utility's power plants and stations. 

"Stage 1 rotational loadshedding will be implemented this evening from 5pm to 10pm due to a shortage of capacity from the effects of the recent industrial action. Loadshedding will continue on a rotational basis and will be implemented across the country. 

Customers are reminded to treat all electrical points as live during loadshedding.

The power utility added that: "Stage 1 rotational loadshedding requires 1000MW to be loadshed nationwide. Loadshedding is conducted as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout".

"We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period. Please switch off geysers during the day especially during peak periods (5am to 10pm and 5pm to 10pm) as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand."

Eskom's decision comes a day after coal trucking at Majuba and Duvha power stations in Mpumalanga stopped due to acts of intimidation allegedly by workers who are unhappy about the latest wage offer.

Public order police were later called in to calm down the situation.

Employees are demanding 12% of their annual salaries as a once-off bonus as part of a wage settlement which has yet to be concluded two months after negotiations between unions and the cash-strapped utility started. 

Another round of wage negotiations between Eskom and workers unions is set to resume on Friday. 

The unions rejected the power utility's latest offer of a basic salary increase of seven percent each year until 2020, with a housing allowance adjusted annually by CPI over the period July 2018 to June 2021.

Eskom advised customers to keep checking their load shedding schedules on the Eskom and their municipal website for updates. 

Additional reporting by ANA