Load-shedding to continue at stage 4 until Wednesday or longer

Eskom blames unprotected strike

As the weekend draws to a close, Eskom announces Stage 4 loadshedding to continue on into the week. Stock photo.
As the weekend draws to a close, Eskom announces Stage 4 loadshedding to continue on into the week. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/123ucas

Stage 4 load-shedding will continue until Wednesday.

Eskom said on Sunday unlawful industrial action at various power stations had affected planned maintenance and repairs.

At some stations the full complement of workers had not reported for duty.

“Eskom regrets to inform the public that stage 4 load-shedding is anticipated to continue from 05:00 on Monday morning until midnight at least until Wednesday. This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, at a number of power stations, the full staff complement has not reported for duty.

“As a result, unplanned generation losses have not been reduced as planned, which has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve generation capacity and safeguard plant from damage,” the power provider said in a statement.

There was a possibility that the stage of load-shedding may have to change at short notice, depending on the state of the plant and the availability of labour.

Currently, about 4, 000MW of generation capacity is at risk due to the illegal strike action, it said.

“It is therefore necessary to replenish emergency generation reserves to be able to react to unforeseen circumstances. Adequate emergency reserves are crucial to assist with the generation deficit while dealing with generating units that may trip owing to unlawful action, and to compensate for the inability to return generating units timeously to service.”

The power utility said protracted strike actions may lead to further damage and prolonged delays to returning units to service, which would compound an already constrained power system.

“We currently have 3,894MW on planned maintenance, while another 15,472MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns. In addition to this, a further 600MW is unavailable due to a line fault in Mozambique that is currently experienced by the Hydroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB).”

The entity thanked its “many loyal and dedicated” employees “who keep going beyond the call of duty to help the keep the lights on”.

It appealed to consumers to help limit the impact of the shortages by continuing to reduce the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items.

“We would like to remind the public that load-shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid. We therefore urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly, especially during these uncertain times on the power system.

“Eskom appeals to its labour partners and striking employees to put the people of SA first, respect the law and to desist from unlawful and undemocratic conduct. The labour dispute resolution process must be allowed to run its course without illegal acts of intimidation and damage to property.”

Eskom said it would consider all legal options at its disposal for damage caused or incited by union representatives.


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