Eskom 'tense but stable' ahead of planned strike

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Eskom’s power stations and other critical facilities continue to operate optimally in line with contingency measures the company put in place to ensure security of power supply during this period of wildcat strikes, it said on Wednesday morning.

There are, however, a few isolated incidents where some protesting workers tried to blockade the entrances of certain power stations, but these situations have been quelled by the presence of the Public Order Police.

According to a statement from Eskom, the situation remains "tense but stable".

"We appreciate and thank our employees who continue to work hard to keep the lights on. The safety of all our employees is of paramount importance to us during this time," said Eskom.

The power utility undertook to continue to provide regular updates about the state of the power system through various media platforms.

Fin24 reported earlier that, while Eskom sympathises with workers who will not get salary increases, they are not allowed to participate in strikes.

On Monday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) said they would hold a hold a one-day shutdown at Eskom on Thursday to protest against 0% salary increases.

Eskom said that, should the industrial action take place, it would activate contingency measures to ensure security of power supply. It did not say what these measures were.

The two unions are demanding 15% increases across the board, a housing allowance increase of R2 000, the banning of labour brokers and the insourcing of workers such as cleaners and security guards.

They also want paid maternity leave for six months and paid paternity leave for one month.

"Eskom has noted the statements made by the trade unions about their intentions to embark on an industrial action this Thursday. Eskom has been designated as an essential service provider, and therefore our employees are reminded that they are not allowed to participate in strike actions," the power utility said.

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