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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Minor load shedding relief for a Friday

Eskom has pleaded with members of the public to reduce demand during the evening peak

Embattled power utility Eskom has announced that load shedding will be reduced to stage 5 from 5am on Friday morning until 4pm.

Spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said they will publish another update on Friday afternoon.

“Due to improved generation capacity and emergency reserves, Stage 5 load shedding will be implemented. We plead with members of the public to reduce the demand during the evening peak between 17:00 to 21:00.”

Stage 6

Eskom implemented stage 6 load shedding on Tuesday after two units at Lethabo and Matla power stations shut down for urgent repairs.

Earlier in the week, Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the country was plunged into higher stages of load shedding because Eskom was not “sticking to its planned maintenance schedule”.

Ramokgopa said South Africans could expect intensified power cuts to persist in the short term.

“Us as a team we have taken a view that part of the reason we are where we are as a country in relation to the deterioration of the generating capacity was that we have not been sticking to planned maintenance, we have not been sticking to philosophy maintenance.

“And that had to do with the fact that Eskom’s balance sheet was severely compromised. There were little resources to invest on the maintenance side. And what had been happening over a period of time is that the units have been exploited without the necessary maintenance, planned maintenance, philosophy maintenance and this caught up with us and that’s why we are in this situation,” said Ramokgopa.

ALSO READ: Ramokgopa explains why stage 6 load shedding is back and likely to get worse

Intensified load shedding

The minister said they will be now “sticking” to the maintenance schedule, but this will increase the intensity of load shedding.

“We are going to stick to planned and philosophy maintenance. We do accept that in the short-term it’s going to result in the possibility of intensified load shedding,” Ramokgopa said.

ALSO READ: Eskom implements stage 6 load shedding until further notice

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