Load-shedding likely this week‚ Eskom warns amid worker ‘intimidation’
Assume that load-shedding will happen this week.
That was the message from Eskom to its customers in a media statement on Monday afternoon.
“Customers are advised to plan on the assumption that load-shedding will take place and are encouraged to check their load-shedding schedules on the Eskom and their municipal website‚” Eskom said.
The power utility said industrial action – which has interrupted service at several power plants - is the result of ongoing wage negotiations between Eskom and trade unions the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)‚ National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and Solidarity. The negotiations have been going on for almost two months.
“On JuIy 27 2018 the parties met and deliberated on the wages and the additional demand for bonuses and jointly resolved to reconvene on Friday August 3 2018‚ for further talks. Eskom is disappointed that the employees through their trade unions resorted to disrupt operations today‚” said Eskom.
The power utility said the industrial action has “negatively impacted plant operations” at several power stations.
“This includes acts of intimidation‚ sabotage and obstruction of access controls for personnel.”
Eskom said it would meet with trade union leaders to resolve the deadlock.
“The South African Police Service has been mobilised. We rely on their expertise to maintain order and to enable safe access to power stations as these are National Key Points.”
Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe tweeted on Monday afternoon: “The national grid is expected to be constrained this evening due to instability at several power stations due to acts of intimidation. Several power stations now running at skeletal staff‚ a move that could compromise our ability to ensure security of power supply.”
#PowerUpdate: The national grid is expected to be constrained this evening due to instability at several power stations due to acts of intimidation. Several power stations now running at skeletal staff, a move that could compromise our ability to ensure security of power supply.— Khulu Phasiwe (@KhuluPhasiwe) July 30, 2018
He said trucks delivering coal to Majuba and Duvha power stations were stopped and intimated.
“This poses a threat to security of power supply‚” Phasiwe said.
“A handful of power generating units‚ including two at Matla‚ one at Koeberg and Arnot‚ are currently offline. Investigations are continuing to determine the cause of these outages. A conveyor belt was cut at Matla power station in what management believes is an act of sabotage.”
He tweeted earlier on Monday that public order police were called in at some power station to suppress intimidation and that 18 people were arrested for in June for illegally striking.
Load-shedding schedules can be checked on Eskom’s website and on the websites of local municipalities‚ or by calling the Eskom contact centre at 0860 037 566.