The public should brace itself for a total electricity shut down following the deadlock in wage negotiations between unions at Eskom and the power utility management.

Last week, Eskom tabled a 0% wage increase.

National Union Mineworkers spokesperson, Livhuwani Mammburu alleges that mismanagement of money by the management has resulted in the current financial state in the power utility.

The unions that include NUM, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Solidarity are demanding a 15% wage increase.

Mammburu says from now on wards the unions will only negotiate with the Board.

“The 0% wage increase offered by Eskom is an insult to the workers at Eskom; remember there were corruption, mismanagement of money at Eskom, workers are not responsible for that, why should they be punished? We feel that workers are being punished here, and our members have given us a mandate that if Eskom keeps on giving us a 0% wage increase, they have instructed us we must go for a total shutdown.”

Meanwhile, Eskom says the 0% wage increase offer still stands.

Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe says the company sympathises with the workers but the power utility has no money.

“We do understand their concerns, and their concerns are legitimate… and if Eskom had the money, Eskom would ordinarily pay these increases as per part of the normal negotiation… but unfortunately, Eskom doesn’t have enough money…”

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