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It's lights out…again – Eskom to implement Stage 3 load shedding from 9am

The struggling power utility says despite some of its units returning to service on Friday night, they have has to accommodate the shortage of capacity and replenish reserves.

Picture: Pexels

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has announced there will be Stage 3 load shedding from 9 am on Saturday, until 5 am Monday.

The struggling power utility says despite some of its units returning to service on Friday night, they have has to accommodate the shortage of capacity and replenish reserves.

The parastatal says technicians are currently scrambling to restore more than 17,000 megawatts lost to the grid due to breakdowns and planned maintenance.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantantsha said, “We are load shedding in order to replenish our reserves and to get an opportunity to fix the other power stations. We regret this, but we will have load shedding the whole weekend.”

Eskom had previously told South Africans that there is a possibility of increased load shedding over the next 18 months as it conducts critical maintenance to restore the aging infrastructure.

The power company has also offered its managers voluntary cash exit packages, in an attempt to claw back on its bloated wage bill.

At the same time, in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said while load shedding was unlikely to end any time soon, it should be done in a way that caused the least disruption to businesses and households.

The president acknowledged the impact of power cuts on the country’s economy and its citizens.

“The load shedding of the last few months has had a debilitating effect on our country. It has severely set back our efforts to rebuild the economy and to create jobs."

Ramaphosa said while Eskom worked to get its power plants in order, the government would take a number of steps to secure energy from outside of Eskom to ease pressure on the grid.

Additional reporting by Gaye Davis and Kevin Brandt

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