Eskom announces 'high risk' of Stage 1 load shedding for Thursday

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There is an increased risk of Stage 1 load shedding from 14:00 to 22:00 on Thursday, Eskom has said.

According to a statement from the power utility, the load shedding is due to a shortage in generation capacity.

The risk of load shedding remains high for Thursday and Friday and will continue over the weekend as there is a need to "replenish emergency reserves", Eskom said.

"While the risk remains high, load shedding will only be implemented if absolutely necessary," the power utility said.

Eskom reintroduced load shedding in February due to technical issues at power plants. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told members of Parliament, during a debate on Eskom's crisis, that government is engaging with engineers who volunteered to help get to the bottom of the power station failures.

Members of the Engineering Council of South Africa had reached out to government to conduct an assessment of the power stations to get to the root of the power outages.

Government will also be making use of international expertise, and multinational firm Enel will send through power station engineers to assist in resolving the crisis, Fin24 previously reported.

Additionally Cabinet agreed to appoint a special committee on Eskom, led by Deputy President David Mabuza and includes Gordhan, Transport minister Blade Nzimande, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi Duba and Minister of Police Bheki Cele.

The team is to report to the president daily as it finds a way forward in restoring stability to the grid.

In a post-Cabinet statement issued on Thursday, government said it welcomed the interventions by Treasury to financially support Eskom. Ministers had discussed the crisis at Eskom at its Wednesday meeting.

Government has engaged with the three labour unions at Eskom over its unbundling, as well as members of the Engineering Council of South Africa and the National Assoication of Black Engineers and coal mining companies part of the Minerals Council of South Africa to address issues at Eskom.

A Technical Operations and Maintenance Review Team for Eskom will be announced shortly, Cabinet said.

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