Loadshedding Persists in South Africa Amid Wage Negotiations and High Absenteeism

  • Eskom reports that there is still a level of absenteeism at the power stations which may result in stage 6 loadshedding to persist.
  • South Africa’s state owned energy utility has been embroiled in an ongoing labour dispute which has resulted in unlawful and often violent labour protests at its fleet of coal fired power stations this past week. Read more 
  • Eskom recorded debt of R392.1 billion in 2021 and incurred R16.6 billion in finance costs to service the debt. Read more

“While some workers have started reporting for duty at the 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. It is therefore important to note that the system will remain constrained and vulnerable to additional breakdowns while recovery activities are in progress,” the utility said in a statement.

The utility is also regularly exposed to acts of sabotage at their power plants. Read more 

Due to the unlawful and unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom’s power plants, the utility reports that it has been unable to return some generators to service. “This has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve emergency generation capacity and safeguard plant from damage”, they added.

Eskom resumes wage talks with labour unions tomorrow. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Eskom will be offering workers a one year 7% increase package. 

Eskom currently has 3 161MW on planned maintenance, while another 17 395MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns. Eskom’s total capacity is 44000MW.

Stage 6 loadshedding will be implemented from 14:00 this afternoon until midnight. Stage 4 loadshedding will then be implemented at 00:00 – 05:00 on Friday. From 05:00 until 00:00 on Friday loadshedding will be implemented at Stage 6. A minimum of Stage 4 will be required continuously over the weekend.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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