South Africa: Load Shedding Hits Unprecedented Stage Six As Businesses Suffer

Eskom's national control centre (file photo).

Eskom implemented stage six load shedding for the first time on Monday, meaning power outages could occur two to three times a day. The power utility has called for calm, but many business owners appear defeated.

The country's electricity crisis worsened on Monday afternoon as Eskom announced it was moving from stage four to stage six load shedding, meaning rolling blackouts will occur between two and three times a day until the situation improves.

In a press statement, the power utility blamed the escalation on a failure of power supply to the Medupi power station's coal-feeding conveyors, flooding at the Kriel mine and power station, and flooding at the Camden power station.

This is the first time Eskom has implemented stage six load shedding and it means 6,000MW will be removed from the national grid on a rotational basis. Eskom implemented stage four load shedding on Monday morning to save 4,000MW from the grid.

Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae said while the escalation in power cuts will have varying effects on different parts of the country, consumers may now experience outages for an average of four hours two or three times a day.

But Mothae said stage six had been scheduled...

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