Eskom says bad weather the cause of recent power outages, not load shedding | Fin24
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Eskom says bad weather the cause of recent power outages, not load shedding

Jul 03 2018 12:31
Khulekani Magubane

Eskom is working to tackle weather woes that have damaged infrastructure and left parts of the country in the dark, said the utility’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

“In the Western Cape and the Free State we are dealing with heavy snowfalls in some of these areas which are accompanied by heavy rainfalls. In the [Eastern Cape] there were several areas that were offline because of low hanging transmission lines or because of damage to the lines due to heavy snowfall,” Phasiwe said on Tuesday.

“Delays in some areas to repairs and maintenance was as a result of treacherous roads and it was risky to send repairs to lines and other infrastructure."

Phasiwe said these power outages should not be mistaken for scheduled load shedding. He said the power utility had not implemented load shedding since June, adding that South Africa could survive the winter months without rotational load shedding if residents continued saving power.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that we can go through winter without load shedding,” said Phasiwe.

Last month, when load shedding was instituted for the first time in years, Eskom said the power outages had been caused, in part, by striking workers damaging infrastructure and intimidating fellow employees. Unions denied they were involved.

Eskom at first offered employees a wage freeze, saying it did not have enough money to hike wages. After talks deadlocked and unions threatened a prolonged strike, negotiations resumed with the three unions at the power utility - the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and Solidarity - presenting a unified list of demands. 

Phasiwe said negotiations were ongoing. 

“The parties met on Friday last week. In that meeting there was a request by the three unions for a disengagement so they can get a fresh mandate from their members on whether to accept the 6.2% [offered]. We will meet with them on Friday and are hopeful that we will reach a settlement and are waiting for a response from unions,” he said.

solidarity  |  num  |  eskom  |  numsa  |  load shedding  |  wage talks  |  weather


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