Industrial action compromises power supply

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The power supply is constrained as a result of industrial action, Eskom said on Thursday.

“The generation and distribution of electricity across Eskom’s network is constrained today due to the acts of sabotage and intimidation that characterise the current industrial action by members of the trade unions,” said the power utility in an update.

This as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) on Tuesday rejected the utility’s wage offer of 0%. Unions who are demanding a 15% wage increase, were on Thursday staging pickets in response to the 0% increment.

In its update the power utility said there have been several incidents of road blockades, attacks on staff, and wilful damage of electricity infrastructure.

“As a result, all road coal deliveries have been stopped for security reasons. The safety of all our employees is of paramount importance to us during this time.”

The power stations that are worst-affected by the industrial action are Hendrina, Camden, Kendal, and Arnot, which are all located in Mpumalanga.

“We appreciate and thank our employees who continue to work hard to keep the lights on.”

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Eskom Chief Executive Officer Phakamani Hadebe said the power utility has activated contingency measures to mitigate against the industrial action.

At the briefing, Hadebe appealed to employees and organised labour to return to work. -