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High risk of Stage 6 load shedding on Tuesday, warns Eskom

Eskom has said there is a high risk on Tuesday, 28 June, of Stage 6 load shedding after 10 of its generation units went offline and a strike continues to disrupt its operations.
Mpumelelo Mapota works next to a paraffin lamp as Eskom implements regular power cuts because of ageing coal-fired power stations. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
Mpumelelo Mapota works next to a paraffin lamp as Eskom implements regular power cuts because of ageing coal-fired power stations. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

The utility's ageing coal-fired power station fleet is highly prone to faults and its ability to return units to service has been constrained by labour protests.

The protests started last week after wage talks between Eskom and trade unions, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the National Union of Mineworkers, reached a deadlock.

Eskom has been implementing Stage 4 power cuts requiring up to 4,000MW to be shed from the national grid since late last week. Stage 6 outages would require up to 6,000MW to be shed and were only implemented once before in December 2019.

The utility plans to meet union leaders on Tuesday to try to resolve issues relating to the strike, Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter said. He repeated that the strike was illegal because electricity provision was considered an essential service.

Eskom was granted a court interdict to block the strike but the protests have continued.



SOURCE

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