Eskom power stations facing blockages as workers picket

Eskom’s ability to keep the lights on could be compromised with intimidation and road blockages “rife” at most of Eskom’s power stations and regional offices on Thursday morning, according to a tweet by the power utility’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

Phasiwe also tweeted that the power supply to Eskom’s head office in Suninghill had “mysteriously” been cut off.

Six power stations rely on local coal supply, and these will be the most affected by the delivery stoppages.

Disgruntled workers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) are expected to hand over a memorandum to the parastatal’s management at the Sunninghill head office at lunchtime on Thursday, demanding 15% wage increases.

The cash-strapped power utility has offered 0% wage hikes for the financial year.


The parastatal’s management team is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday morning to address the possibility of load shedding.

Phasiwe promised to provide regular updates on various media platforms. A placard circulating on social media warned workers against reporting for duty at Eskom during the one-day strike saying that people would be “subjecting” themselves to risk.

However, Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi distanced the labour organisation from the threatening poster.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu, meanwhile, said police on Wednesday night fired rubber bullets to disperse workers who were gathered outside the power stations in Kendal, Thuthuka, Hendrina and Arnot.

“The police are intimidating the workers, in what is an attempt to prevent the picket, one employee was shot in the eye by a rubber bullet outside Arnot power station.”

“The workers will be joining the picket despite the threats, they are determined to make our voices heard” he said.

t a press briefing on Wednesday, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that contingency plans were in place to keep the lights on during the one-day strike but cautioned there were no guarantees the power utility would be able to do this.

Labour federation the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders met Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday afternoon, and they said he promised to call Eskom’s negotiators back to the table and up their offer, in order to avert a full-blown strike. — Fin24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tehillah Niselow
Tehillah Nieselow
Tehillah Nieselow is a Journalist at Power FM. She Covers labour issues, strikes, protests and general stories

Related stories

SAA to receive R10.5-billion government bailout after all

Several struggling state-owned entities received extra funds after the medium term budget policy speech

Former state security minister Bongo back in court

Bongo and his co-accused will appear in the Nelspruit magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga over charges of fraud, corruption and theft

Gas: South Africa’s next ‘battleground’

As government pushes for a huge increase in electricity generation from gas, serious questions are being raised about the logic behind the move

Khaya Sithole: What’s the state’s role in business?

State participation is valid when the market can’t deliver what’s needed, such as roads and rail networks and telecommunications. But banks and airlines are private enterprise concerns

Covid-19 puts Eskom’s integrated resource plan at risk

The economic effects of the pandemic could hamper the government’s initiative to procure new generation capacity

Renewables will light up the darkness

More than 11 800MW of new electricity capacity from independent power producers will come online in 2022, giving Eskom space to do more maintenance on its unreliable infrastructure
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Joe Biden’s debate guests run the only Zimbabwean restaurant in...

A Zimbabwean restaurant feeding people in need formed an unlikely addition to Joe Biden’s election campaign

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Khaya Sithole: Tsakani Maluleke’s example – and challenge

Shattering the glass ceiling is not enough, the new auditor general must make ‘live’ audits the norm here in SA

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday