Eskom has announced that it will increase load-shedding to Stage 4 from 11:00 until midnight on Friday, 24 June 2022.
“Due to the ongoing unprotected labour action, Eskom is compelled to take precautionary actions to conserve emergency generation reserves,” the power utility said.
Protests broke out at Eskom power stations on Thursday, 23 June, after wage negotiations resulted in a deadlock earlier in the week.
As a result of the protests — which have blocked roads leading to several power stations across the country — Eskom had to use its emergency diesel and pumped water generation reserves extensively.
The power utility now has to shed more load to replenish its emergency reserves, hence the need to increase power cuts to Stage 4.
“It is necessary to bolster emergency generation reserves to react to unforeseen circumstances, as well as to replenish emergency reserves to prepare for the week ahead,” Eskom said.
“This would help fill the generation deficit while dealing with generating units that may trip amidst the disturbances and compensate for the inability to return generating units timeously to service.”
Eskom also said it is exploring possible solutions to the negotiation deadlock with labour unions.
“Eskom appeals to its labour partners and striking employees to embrace the higher purpose of putting the people of South Africa first, respect the law and to desist from illegal and undemocratic conduct,” it added.
The power utility currently has 2,766MW of generating capacity offline for planned maintenance and a further 17,395MW unavailable due to breakdowns.
Eskom warned the public that the shortage of generating capacity will persist and that the system will continue to be constrained over the coming weeks.
“We appeal to all South Africans to help limit the impact of the shortages by continuing to reduce the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items,” it said.