S.Africa's Eskom to implement Stage 1 power cuts over weekend



CAPE TOWN, May 28 (Reuters) - South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom said controlled power cuts to the national grid will be reduced to 1,000 megawatts from 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) to 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Saturday and Sunday as it struggles to keep the lights on.

"The system will continue to be constrained with an elevated risk of loadshedding over the coming weeks," Eskom said in a statement.

Africa's most industrialised economy has been constrained by "loadshedding", the local term for power cuts, as old coal-fired plants that supply the bulk of the country's electricity regularly break down, forcing Eskom to cut power to preserve the national grid from total collapse.

Earlier this month, Eskom cut around 4,000 MW of power in a so-called "Stage 4" outage - some of the worst power cuts in more than a decade, while this weekend's cuts were categorized as "Stage 1", or 1,000 MW.
Reporting by Wendell Roelf, editing by Louise Heavens

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