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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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More blackouts woes to hit South Africans from 4pm today

080 Sindisiwe Mchunu, Administrator at Cell C struggles finding a book while doing her report in the dark at home in Ormonde as load shedding hits some parts of Joburg South. 031114. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

080 Sindisiwe Mchunu, Administrator at Cell C struggles finding a book while doing her report in the dark at home in Ormonde as load shedding hits some parts of Joburg South. 031114. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom has announced that they will continue to implement stage 6 load shedding despite Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan promising the country that the stage would not continue after it was introduced on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, Eskom confirmed that its employees were returning to work amid promising talks with unions and the utility’s management.

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Around 2pm on Wednesday, Eskom confirmed that stage 6 was continuing due to some of the employees not returning to work and continuing to take part in what the utility called ‘unlawful’ action.

Eskom national spokesperson Sikanathi Mantshantsha said although some employees reported for duty, a number did not return to the power stations.

Mantshantsha said, as previously communicated, stage 6 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm until 10pm this evening. Stage 4 load shedding will then be implemented at 10pm to midnight. Load shedding will be reduced to Stage 2 until 5am on Thursday morning.

He said from 5am until midnight on Thursday, load shedding will be implemented at stage 4. stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from midnight until 5am on Friday morning.

“Eskom continues to closely monitor the system and will implement any changes as may be necessary. While some workers have started reporting for duty at the power stations, there is still a high level of absenteeism. As a result of the unlawful strike, routine maintenance work has had to be postponed,” the spokesperson said.

“This backlog will take days to weeks to clear. It is, therefore, important to note that the system will remain constrained and vulnerable to additional breakdowns while recovery activities are in progress. Due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, Eskom is unable to return some generators to service.”

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Manthsantsha said this has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve emergency generation capacity and safeguard plants from damage.

“There remains a risk that the stage of load shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant. We currently have 3 161MW of planned maintenance, while another 17 395MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns,” he said.

Eskom paid tribute and thanked those many employees who kept going beyond the call of duty and continued to help keep the lights on during this very challenging time.

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“Eskom would like to take this opportunity to thank our municipal partners who tirelessly implement the load shedding according to schedule. We also wish to thank the members of the SAPS who continue to play a key role in ensuring that disruptions of law and order were minimised at power stations during the strike,” he said.

Unions representing disgruntled employees said no agreement had been reached between workers and Eskom management.

“We want to set the record straight. We have not come to any agreement with Eskom. An offer was tabled, which members are engaging on. For the next few days, we will be consulting members to find out if they accept the proposal or not. We will meet on Friday 1 July at the Central Bargaining Forum, where we will formally respond to it as parties,” said NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu.

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