Eskom goes back to stage-six power cuts as intimidation of staff continues

Eskom will implement stage-six loadshedding from 2pm until midnight, the power utility said on Thursday, putting the blame for the escalation of power cuts at the door of striking workers.

Stage-six rolling blackouts will again be implemented from 5am until midnight on Friday.

Eskom said the high level of absenteeism and intimidation of non-striking workers by those affiliated to unions that embarked on an illegal strike last week was still rife.

“This has made it difficult to conduct routine maintenance and other operational requirement which will further impact the reliability of generation units,” Eskom said in a statement.

On Friday last week, Eskom secured a court interdict to halt the illegal strike action at nine of its power stations. The power utility appealed at the time for the striking workers to put South Africans first.

However, the striking workers, most of whom are affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, chose to ignore the court order and continued with the strike at some of the power stations this week.

Wage negotiations between the unions and the power utility are expected to be concluded on Friday, but various reports suggest that the workers have already told their unions to reject Eskom’s proposed 7% wage increase.

See Eskom’s statement here:  

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