South Africa is a country plunged into darkness, and Eskom has conceded that it could get worse.

The power utility says rolling blackouts will resume at high levels this week.

Stage 6 power cuts are currently in effect, following more generation units tripping on Saturday.

A total of 45 units have broken down over the past week alone.

Eskom management says diesel and dams have been running very low, and this has forced them to use emergency reserves.

CEO André de Ruyter admits that they might go beyond Stage 6.

“I think given the current performance of the coal fleet we cannot deny that there’s a risk, but we are managing this risk to the best of our ability. We are using both a lot of maintenance that we are doing at the moment and a lot of repairs. And we hope this will allow to cap the Stage 6 load shedding and avoid any further stages”.

Despite the high number of units tripping, De Ruyter has ruled out the possibility of sabotage.

“At this stage, we have no indications that there’s any act of sabotage involved. So I would not encourage speculation in that regard. Of course, if we do find evidence then we will share it with law enforcement authorities as well as the public”.

In the meantime, The Presidency has confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will cut short his working visit overseas and return home immediately after the Queen’s funeral to deal with the power crisis.

He was supposed to travel from London to New York to address the United General Assembly on Tuesday.