Eskom says full recovery of power system to take 10 days

State power utility Eskom expects full recovery of South Africa’s power system to take approximately 10 days but said the possibility of limited, localised electricity outages on Sunday remained high.

Eskom, which produces more than 90% of South Africa’s power, is grappling with labour unrest over a wage dispute. Last Thursday it implemented power outages for the first time since 2015.

“The power system remains constrained with the risk of stage 1 load-shedding remaining high for this evening due to a shortage of capacity from the effects of the recent industrial action,” Eskom said in a statement.

Should power outages occur, they would take place between 1500 GMT to 1900 GMT, it said.

Stage 1 power outages are localised outages which involve a load shed of up to 1 000 megawatts.

“Eskom’s prognosis is that the power system will take up to approximately 10 days to recover from the effects of the recent industrial action, once all staff return to work on Monday,” it said.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said late on Friday that Eskom and workers’ unions had agreed to resume talks on Tuesday on conditions that include Eskom making a pay increase offer and provided that operations return to normal.