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Dark days: Eskom confirms stage 2 power cuts to begin again

In a statement, the power utility said there was also a high probability that load shedding would continue over the weekend.

Picture: Pexels.

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom on Thursday morning announced that stage 2 rotational load shedding would be implemented from 9am on Thursday until 6am on Saturday.

*How to check you load shedding schedule

In a statement, the power utility said there was also a high probability that load shedding would continue over the weekend.

Eskom said it had lost three additional units overnight which increased the shortage in capacity.

"This is due to three additional generating units having been lost through the night at three different power stations. We are working hard to restore them to service," said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

BLACKOUTS TO CAUSE FRUSTRATION

Meanwhile, the latest bout of load shedding is expected to cause frustration among South Africans who will now have to deal with sitting in grid-locked traffic, run businesses off generators, and make plans to keep their food fresh during rolling blackouts that are often communicated with very little notice.

On Friday, Gauteng residents will get a chance to air their views on Eskom when the National Energy Regulator of South Africa holds another leg of public hearings on the power utility’s bid to secure more than R27 billion through electricity hikes.

The hearings were expected to take place in Pretoria where ordinary citizens, businesses, and concerned groups would make submissions.

With a sluggish economy, high unemployment figures, and the rising cost of goods and services - South Africans said they simply could not cope with another electricity hike.

If Eskom has its way, it would see South Africans pay even more for the same amount of electricity they use.

Soweto residents owe the utility billions of rand in debt and Themba Makhubele from the Soweto concerned Residence Group said people wouldn’t manage with another hike.

“We are just following the formalities even though we know that as communities whatever proposal that we are making to Eskom won’t be considered,” Makhubele said.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa)’s CEO Wayne Duvenage said this would be the last straw for consumers.

“Continuous increases in electricity tariffs are killing this country, society has had enough,” he said.

HOW LONG WILL LOAD SHEDDING LAST?

Earlier this week, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter made his first appearance in Parliament.

He told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that Eskom was prioritising critical maintenance, which meant South Africans would have to put up with load shedding over the next 18 months.

However, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday told Members of Parliament (MPs) that the blackouts would continue for at least the next two years.

Eskom’s board failed to appear before Scopa without giving any explanation.

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