Eskom escalates to stage 6 power cuts, blames ongoing strike

Power utility Eskom will implement stage 6 power cuts from 2pm on Thursday until midnight, adding that it would also implement stage 6 blackouts on Friday from 5am until midnight.

Picture: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay

JOHANNESBURG - Power utility Eskom will implement stage 6 power cuts from 2pm on Thursday until midnight, adding that it would also implement stage 6 blackouts on Friday from 5am until midnight.

The rolling blackouts will continue into the weekend, Eskom said, at a minimum of stage 4.

It said that this was due to the continued unprotected strike at some of its power stations.

READ: How to check your load shedding schedule

In a statement, it said that high levels of staff absenteeism and intimidation of employees at some of the power stations was still rife and that this had made it difficult to conduct routine maintenance and other operational requirements which would further impact the reliability of generation units.

"The unlawful strike has a serious detrimental effect impact on not only Eskom, but also on the broader South African public and economy. Union members, who work in a designated essential service, have a legal and moral obligation to return to work in order to safeguard South Africa from further load shedding," the utility said in a statement.

Wage talks between unions and Eskom collapsed last week after the power utility offered workers 5.3%. The utility on Tuesday night then tabled a 7% offer, which unions are consulting their members about.