Eskom has downgraded Stage 6 load shedding to Stage 4 this morning after the power utility was able to claw back some generation capacity overnight.
The state owned power producer has been battling to keep the lights on following a combination of breakdowns at power stations and an industrial strike which has left power stations with little capacity.
“Overnight we have replenished our emergency reserves sufficiently to not require Stage 6 load shedding during the morning. However, Stage 6 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm to 10pm so as not to deplete these reserves any further. Stage 4 is being implemented until 4pm.
“A minimum of Stage 4 will be required continuously over the weekend. Eskom continues to evaluate the situation and closely monitor the system. We will communicate and implement any changes as may be necessary,” the power utility said.
Earlier this week, Eskom announced that it would be returning to the Central Bargaining Forum with worker unions to attempt to resolve wage disputes with striking workers.
“Following a productive meeting…between Eskom and union leadership, Eskom can confirm that it has agreed in-principle with the recognised labour unions on the way forward in the wage talks on (today) at the Central Bargaining Forum.
“Following this agreement, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) have urged their members to return to work immediately,” Eskom said.
However less than a day later, Eskom said “continued absenteeism” by striking workers and intimidation left power stations at low capacity.
“The high levels of staff absenteeism and intimidation of working employees in some of the power stations is still rife. This has made it difficult to conduct routine maintenance and other operational requirements, which will further impact the reliability of generation units.
“Due to the unlawful and unprotected strike, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, Eskom is still unable to return some generators to service. There remains a risk that the stage of load shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant,” Eskom said.
Source: South African Government News Agency