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Eskom labour protests 'bring more load-shedding risks' for SA

Eskom said labour protests were causing operational disturbances on top of generation plant breakdowns. Stock photo.
Eskom said labour protests were causing operational disturbances on top of generation plant breakdowns. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/rclassenlayouts

Protests at nine Eskom power stations and facilities over the past 24 hours could result in load-shedding at higher stages, the power utility warned on Friday.

Some employees had embarked on unprotected strikes after a deadlock in wage negotiations on Tuesday.

The protests included intimidation of employees, blockading roads leading to power stations and facilities, and inhibiting the free flow of personnel and commodities required for the generation of electricity and smooth operations, said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha

The unavailability of power generation plants had necessitated extensive use of emergency generation reserves which were being depleted faster then they could be replenished. 

“Eskom cautions the public that should these criminal acts of intimidation persist or spread, this would increase the risk of operational disturbances and the implementation of load-shedding at higher stages.

“Before these disturbances the power system had already been under considerable strain for a while, with stage 2 load-shedding now being implemented.

“The provision of electricity is an essential service in which industrial action is not permitted. The free movement of personnel and transportation of commodities in and out of power stations are essential to ensure smooth operations and to limit load-shedding to current levels and below,” he said.

Eskom appealed to its labour partners and striking employees to embrace a higher purpose by putting the people of SA first, respecting the law and desisting from illegal conduct. In the interim, incidents had been reported to the police.

Eskom said it was monitoring the situation.

TimesLIVE

 


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