Eskom said some workers had started reporting for duty at the power stations but there was still a high level of absenteeism.
ESKOM confirmed on Wednesday that it would implement Stage 6 load shedding from 4pm until 10pm, with Stage 4 to continue until midnight.
Load shedding will then be reduced to Stage 2 until 5am on Thursday morning and then increased to Stage 4 from 5am to 4pm.
On Friday, Stage 2 will be implemented from midnight until 5am.
“Eskom continues to closely monitor the system and will implement any changes as may be necessary,” the power utility said.
Load shedding was stepped up after thousands of Eskom workers downed tools for more than a week at nine of its power stations and other operating facilities, following a deadlock in wage negotiations on June 22.
This wildcat strike, combined with unplanned breakdowns, plunged the country into Stage 6 load shedding for the second time in the history of rotational power cuts.
The power utility said some workers had started reporting for duty at the power stations but there was 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,” said Eskom.
Eskom said the unprotected labour action had caused widespread disruption to power plants, which made it difficult to return some generators to service.
“This has compelled Eskom to continue taking precautionary measures to conserve emergency generation capacity and safeguard plants from damage. There remains a risk that the stage of load shedding may have to change at any time, depending on the state of the plant.”
The power utility said it had 3,161MW on planned maintenance, while another 17,395MW of capacity was unavailable due to breakdowns.
“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.”