Stage 6 load shedding to last until 10 pm

The state-owned power company said this is despite the fact that striking employees have started returning to work.

Blackout. Picture: Free Images.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom said Stage 6 load shedding would kick in from 4pm on Wednesday afternoon until 10pm.

The state-owned power company said this was despite the fact that some striking employees had returned to work.

Eskom said stage 4 load shedding would be implemented from 10pm until midnight and then reduced to stage 2 until 5am on Thursday.

Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, said from 5am on Thursday until midnight load shedding would be at stage 4.

"While some of the workers have started reporting for duty at power stations, there is still a high level of absenteeism as a result of the unlawful strike. Routine maintenance work has had to be postponed, this backlog will take days to weeks to clear."

Mantshantsha said due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, it was unable to return some generators to service.

"Eskom is unable to return some generators to service [and] this has compelled Eskom to continue to take precautionary measures to preserve generation capacity and to safeguard from damage. 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 has 3,161 megawatts on planned maintenance, while another 17,000 megawatts of electricity capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.