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UPDATED: Stage 3 and 4 loadshedding planned as wage discussions at Eskom falter

  • South Africans have been offered a bit of respite from four hour power cuts this week.
  • Stage 3 loadshedding will take place during the day and Stage 4 at night until further notice.
  • Trade unions are also discussing wage increases with Eskom but those talks aren’t going well. Gird your loins for more Stage 6 loadshedding if that trend continues.

UPDATE

This afternoon Eskom announced that seven generation units had experienced failures. As a result, Stage 6 loadshedding will be in effect from 16:00 this afternoon until 05:00 tomorrow. On Tuesday morning at 05:00 until 16:00 Stage 4 will be effect with Stage 3 taking place on Wednesday from 05:00 to 16:00.

Original story below.

Following an extended bout of Stage 5 and 6 loadshedding that appears to be a primer for the forthcoming Winter, Eskom has said that its ability to generate power has improved slightly.

Thanks to this improvement, South Africans are getting a break from the four-hour blackout sessions, at least for now.

Data shared by Eskom on Sunday revealed that the evening peak Eskom had 25 748MW of capacity available as compared to the 24 721MW it had available during Stage 6 loadshedding. To make up the current shortfall for the demand Eskom is using 12 open cycle gas turbines and is drawing on 1 244MW of renewable energy.

Despite the relief from Stage 6, the power generation system is still rather fragile. With that having been said, Eskom announced on Sunday afternoon that Stage 3 loadshedding would be in place between 05:00 and 16:00 each day with Stage 4 coming into effect between 16:00 and 05:00.

How long this will last is not clear especially given that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and Solidarity are currently engaged with Eskom over wage increases. Last week the trio of unions rejected Eskom’s offer of a 3.75 percent increase.

According to a report from Daily Maverick, NUM is demanding a 15 percent increase across the board while Solidarity is looking for increases in line with the CPI increase plus 3 percent.

If Eskom and these unions can’t reach an agreement, we fear a repeat of what happened in June of last year. When strike action was taking place, Eskom had to quickly shift from Stage 4 to Stage 6 loadshedding. While we weren’t experiencing the longest streak of loadshedding back then, right now the already fragile power system could come tumbling down should Eskom and unions be unable to agree on an increase.

Our advice is to keep your devices charged and perhaps investigate ways to keep things like your router on, just to make loadshedding slightly more bearable.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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