Eskom extends load shedding to Stage 6 on Tuesday, Wednesday evenings

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Load shedding will be escalated to Stage 6 on Tuesday from 16:00 to 22:00, Eskom has announced.

Stage 4 load shedding will then be implemented from 22:00 to 00:00. Load shedding will then be reduced to Stage 2 until 05:00 on Wednesday morning. From 05:00 until 16:00 on Wednesday, load shedding will be implemented at Stage 4.

Load shedding Stage 6 will then again be implemented at 16:00 to 22:00 on Wednesday evening.

This is due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, the power utility said in a statement.

"This has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve generation capacity and safeguard plants from damage. There is a high risk that the stage of load shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant."

Eskom added that three of the 10 generation units that had tripped during Monday night have been returned to service.

"This, however, is still insufficient to stave off the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding for [Tuesday] evening and [Wednesday] evening. We currently have 3 218MW on planned maintenance, while another 17 621MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns."

Stage 6 has only been implemented once before, on 9 December 2019. 

At an urgent media briefing on Tuesday morning, Eskom leadership said obstruction of access to stations by protesting workers escalated to intimidation and the torching of vehicles at various sites.

Eskom management added that disruptions to its operations and obstructions to access to its power stations persisted and worsened the country's power situation.

This follows protests at Eskom operations over a wage talks deadlock, which plunged South Africa into Stage 4 load shedding last week.

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said unlawful action continued and intensified on Monday night as managerial staff braved the capacity needs of stations. De Ruyter warned that even after the strike is over, a maintenance backlog will create significant risk for prolonged load shedding.

READ | Avoiding Stage 6: Torching of vehicles, lack of staff and power station woes cripple Eskom

Eskom appealed to all South Africans to help limit the impact of load shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items. 

Find your load shedding schedule here

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