Wage talks progressing quite well - Eskom CEO De Ruyter

The state-owned power company on Friday morning gave an update on the current electricity grid challenges that has this week plunged the country into stage 6 darkness.

FILE: Eskom CEO André de Ruyter. Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said that wage talks with unions were progressing well.

The state-owned power company on Friday morning gave an update on the current electricity grid challenges that has this week plunged the country into stage 6 darkness.

Stage 4 power cuts are in effect until 4pm on Friday afternoon when stage 6 blackouts will run until 10pm.

READ: How to check your load shedding schedule

The Eskom CEO said that the peak evening load forecast was expected to be just over 30,000 megawatts.

"Our reserves are running low, this is something that we are addressing. We are sourcing additional diesel supplies from whatever sources we can. We have not replenished our dams as much as we would have liked to and therefore we are unfortunately going to have to return to stage 6 load shedding from 4pm this afternoon," he said.

De Ruyter said that the successful return to work of striking employees would enable the utility to lift the blackouts.

"There's about three stages of load shedding attributable to the unlawful industrial action, so that is the major factor putting us in the position that we are in right now," De Ruyter said.

De Ruyter said that the meeting with unions started again on Friday morning.

"We are currently engaged in negotiations on a revised wage offer. I'm at this stage not able to to give you an update. Negotiations started at 9am this morning and they are progressing by all accounts quite well and ina constructive spirit," he said.