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'High risk' of load shedding for next 30 days - Eskom

Aug 03 2018 16:45

There will be a high risk of load shedding for the next 30 days, Eskom said on Friday, as recovery teams start to get to work fixing damage the power utility says was caused by strikes. 

This means that South Africans will have to plan for load shedding until Sunday 2 September, and Eskom has asked businesses and the public to use power sparingly during this period. 

On Tuesday the power utility instituted three hours of load shedding for the first time in a month, saying power generation capacity shortfalls had been caused by the intimidation of workers and acts of sabotage. It has not instituted rotational power cuts since.

It said work the recovery teams would be involved in would include coal and diesel management, the maintenance and restarting of power plants, and environmental compliance, including ash management. It added that an improvement in generation could "only increase and be achieved with the return of employees".

Workers at Eskom’s three recognised unions – Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) – have been in long-running wage negotiations with their employer.

These were recently moved to dispute resolution body the CCMA, after direct talks remained deadlocked. Solidarity became the first union to accept Eskom’s wage offer on Thursday, with its chief executive Dirk Hermann pledging to "do everything to try and stabilise the power grid".

Numsa said in a statement on Friday that it was taking Eskom’s latest offer back to its members, and would not share details with media yet.

"Eskom have a made a proposal which we have sent to our members for them to consider," said Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim in a statement. "If our members are happy with the latest proposal, then we can sign the agreement."

NUM will also be taking the latest offer to its members. 

According to Bloomerg, Eskom offered to back down on its earlier refusal to pay employees a bonus, in addition to above-inflation wage increases.  

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solidarity  |  num  |  eskom  |  numsa  |  load shedding  |  strikes


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