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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Eskom ramps up load shedding to stage 6 (again)

Eskom said the implementation of stage 6 necessary to replenish dam levels at the pumped storage power stations.

Ailing state-owned entity Eskom ramped up load shedding stage 6 from 8pm on Tuesday until 5am on Wednesday morning.

Load shedding update

The parastatal said stage 4 load shedding will resume at 5am tomorrow morning until further notice.

Dam levels

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the escalation in blackout stages is necessary to replenish dam levels.

“This is necessary to ensure sufficient generation capacity is available tonight to replenish the dam levels at the pumped storage power station so that this capacity will be available during the day tomorrow.”

“The breakdown of 6 generating units during the day has necessitated the escalation in the load shedding stage,” Mantshantsha said.

Load shedding reprieve

South Africans were hopeful they would receive some reprieve from load shedding when the parastatal reduced load shedding to stage 4.

Eskom said it will publish a further update should any significant changes occur.

Meanwhile, as the country continues to suffer from load shedding, the Presidency told The Citizen there was a growing threat at Eskom’s power stations, with serious concerns and risks to South Africa’s energy infrastructure.

On Saturday, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed to several Eskom power stations in response to the threat, which the Presidency said included acts of sabotage, theft, vandalism and corruption.

ALSO READ: André de Ruyter under investigation for ‘irregularity’ at Eskom

Security threats

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the Minister of Defence Thandi Modise responded to the request made by President Ramaphosa and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to support the ongoing activities of the security cluster.

“This is expected to ensure that we continue to respond to security-related threats and risks to South Africa’s essential energy infrastructure; coordinate all security-related operations to protect South Africa’s essential energy infrastructure through proactive crime detection.”

The parastatal was left in a state of disarray last week, following the resignation of CEO André de Ruyter.

De Ruyter being investigated

De Ruyter was also being investigated by the ailing parastatal’s new board for alleged procurement irregularities.

This was according to a Sunday Times report which found the investigation involved the appointment process that ultimately led to Stephen Meijers being named the Chief Operating Officer of Eskom Rotek Industries — a subsidiary of Eskom.

ALSO READ: Growing threat at Eskom risks energy infrastructure – Presidency

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