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Eskom shrugs off sabotage claims as it alternates between Stage 3 and 4 load shedding

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ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula at the weekend claimed that the reason for Eskom needing to implement higher stages of load shedding was due to acts of sabotage.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. File picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspapers

ESKOM has shrugged off allegations of sabotage after the country was plunged into Stage 3 load shedding just moments after President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation address last week.

Due to issues with generating units, Eskom then implemented Stage 4 and then Stage 6 load shedding on the weekend.

In posts on social media platform X, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula claimed that there were incidents of sabotage to be blamed for the country’s blackouts.

“There are occasions where we can note that there are patterns that suggest there are incidents of sabotage that continue to bring us back to varied levels of load shedding. It then becomes important that the security cluster of our government intervenes and bring the perpetrators to book,” Mbalula said.

According to the Eskom head of generation, Bheki Nxumalo, they are investigating the allegation. Speaking to the SABC, Nxumalo said they are also looking at security scans.

Meanwhile, Eskom said load shedding will be downgraded to Stage 3 from 5am on Tuesday.

“Over the past 24 hours, Eskom has returned to service five generating units which will allow the emergency reserves to be adequately replenished by Tuesday morning. This will enable the reduction of load shedding to Stage 3 from 5am on Tuesday until 4pm. Stage 4 load shedding will then be implemented from 4pm on Tuesday until 5am on Wednesday,” Eskom’s Daphne Mokwena said.

She added that this alternating pattern of Stage 3 load shedding from 5am to 4pm and Stage 4 load shedding from 4pm to 5am will be repeated daily until further notice.

“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes to load shedding should it be required.

“Unplanned outages have reduced to 14,579MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is at 7,316MW. Eskom power station general managers and their teams continue to work diligently to ensure that additional generating units are brought back to service. A total of 2,150MW of generating capacity is planned to be returned to service by Wednesday.”

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