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Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Eskom announces stage 3 and 4 load shedding for week ahead

On Saturday, Eskom said three people were arrested for stealing oil from the Kendal power station.

Eskom on Sunday said the country could expect to see stage 3 load shedding implemented during the day in the upcoming week.

Stage 4 load shedding will then come into effect from 4pm until 5am.

The power utility said this is due to a slight improvement in generation capacity.

“This pattern of stage 3 and stage 4 load shedding will be repeated daily until further notice,” Eskom said.

ALSO READ: Load shedding ‘won’t end this year,’ says Ramokgopa as he announces timelines

Fears of grid collapse

The high levels of load shedding in recent weeks led to fears that South Africa’s grid could soon collapse.

South Africa experience persistent stage 6 blackouts earlier this week after failures of generating units at the Tutuka, Kriel, Duvha and Kendal power stations.

Eskom’s interim spokesperson Daphne Mokwena said talk of a grid collapse was premature.

She did, however, say vandalism of Eskom’s infrastructure is a concern.

“Last year (2022) was the worst for us in terms of theft and vandalism on our infrastructure where for example in terms of copper replacement, we spent about R2 billion.

“This is really a worrying issue for us because there seems to now be an increase in this kind of crime as it also affects the economy as well as our customers on top of load shedding,” Mokwena said.

Watch: Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena on grid collapse

Three arrested for oil theft

On Saturday evening, Eskom announced that three people had been arrested for the theft of oil from the Kendal power station.

Two of those arrested are plant operators at the power station. The other person arrested was the truck driver.

ALSO READ: Court dismissal forces town to have load shedding, dump excess solar power

The theft was discovered after the truck driver presented a slip confirming that the tanker weighed less than it should. Eskom said oil worth R300 000 was missing.

The driver was charged with fraud and theft, and was released on bail. The two Eskom employees are expected to apply for bail on Monday.

“The theft of [oil] is a highly organised criminal activity and syndicates involved are being enriched through the proceeds derived from the illicit trade of the stolen products,” said Eskom in the statement.

“Eskom continues to lose billions of rands due to the misappropriation and adulteration of these critical commodities, which directly affects production.”

Additional reporting by Stephen Tau

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