Ongoing unprotected, unlawful industrial action at Eskom power stations might result in Eskom imposing Stage 6 load shedding later today (Tuesday 28 June).
Eskom reports that 6000 MW was lost overnight. Although 3600 MW has being brought back online, the peaking plant which Eskom has relied upon are running out of diesel fuel. Additional diesel will only be delivered to the country on the weekend (1 and 2 July).
Jan Oberholzer says that stage 6 is not confirmed, but is likely. Furthermore, Stage 4 is likely to be in force for some time yet to give the utility to time and space to get as many of the units which are out of service back on line as soon as possible.
As things stand, 7 Units at 4 power stations (Arnot, Duvha, Hendrina and Matla) totally nearly 3000 MW cannot be returned to service because of a lack of authorised personnel at these stations.
Negotiations with the labour union continue, de Ruyter says, but the utility is constrained by the electricity tariffs determined by Nersa and cannot afford to increase wages and salaries to the level requested by the unions.
Continued strike action - which has been accompanied by acts of intimidation, violence, arson and destruction of property - will result in the power utility losing even more generating capacity and having to implement higher stages of load shedding.
According to Jan Oberholzer, Eskom' s Chief Operating Officer, load shedding Stage 6 would result in power outages of six hours in every 24 hour cycle.