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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Eskom continues to hit South Africans with stage 6 load shedding

Eskom says the high levels of staff absenteeism and intimidation of working employees in some of the power stations is still rife.

South Africans will continue to suffer excruciating pain with Eskom announcing that stage 6 load shedding will be implemented earlier, this time from 2pm on Thursday afternoon until midnight.

The dark lords of Megawatt Park say stage 4 load shedding will then be implemented at 12am until 5am on Friday.

“From 5am until 12am on Friday load shedding will be implemented at Stage 6.”

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Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsa said a minimum of stage 4 load shedding will be required continuously over the weekend.

“Eskom continues to evaluate the situation and closely monitor the system. We will communicate and implement any changes as may be necessary.”

“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,” Mantshantsha said.

He says 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 is compelled to take this unprecedented step to conserve emergency generation capacity to safeguard the power system.  There remains a risk that the stage of loadshedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant.”

Mantshantsha says the unlawful strike has a serious detrimental impact not only on Eskom, but also on the broader South African public and economy.

“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.”

The princes of darkness say they currently have 3 161MW on planned maintenance, while another 17 467MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.

The parastatal has reminded the public that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid and therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly especially during these uncertain times on the power system.

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