Power utility Eskom on Thursday said it would again implement Stage 6 load-shedding, from 14:00 until midnight, as the unlawful employee strike continues.

Stage 4 load-shedding will be implemented from 00:00 to 05:00 on Friday. From 05:00 until 00:00 on Friday, load-shedding will be implemented at Stage 6. 

Due to the continued unlawful strike, Stage 6 load-shedding will be implemented from 14:00 until midnight. Stage 6 will again be implemented from 05:00 until midnight on Friday.

In a statement, it said that high levels of staff absenteeism and intimidation of employees at some of the power stations were still rife and that this had made it difficult to conduct routine maintenance and other operational requirements, which would further impact the reliability of generation units.

"The unlawful strike has a seriously detrimental effect on not only Eskom but also the broader South African public and economy. Union members, who work in a designated essential service, have a legal and moral obligation to return to work to safeguard South Africa from further load shedding," the utility said in a statement.

Wage talks between unions and Eskom collapsed last week after the power utility offered workers 5.3%. The utility, on Tuesday night, then tabled a 7% offer, which unions are consulting their members about.

The utility currently has 3 161MW on planned maintenance, while another 17 395MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.