Eskom has announced that it will be downgrading load shedding from stage two (stage 2) to stage one (stage 1) from 5 pm to 10 pm on Tuesday. This, as the power utility, confirms that there is an improvement in generation capacity.
“Eskom would like to inform the public that load shedding will be reduced to stage one starting at 5 pm, this will continue until 10 pm. This is due to further improvement in the generation capacity, where we have had a unit returning to service during the course of the day, while another generation unit is in the process of being returned to service this evening,” says Eskom Spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha.
Eskom started implementing stage 2 power cuts from Sunday afternoon after it lost 10 generating units at seven power stations. This represented a total loss of 6 044 MW.
Loadshedding will be reduced to Stage 1 from 17:00 until 22:00 as generation capacity improves
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Meanwhile, Eskom is still negotiating wages. On Monday it offered a 1.5% wage increase which the unions rejected. Management made the offer on condition that unions agree to forego leave and other benefits, which Eskom workers have enjoyed for many years.
The talks were suspended two weeks ago after unions demanded that Eskom CEO, Andre De Ruyter come and present the company’s turnaround strategy to them. That finally happened, paving the way for the negotiations to proceed.
Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the company’s offer is due to its financial circumstances.
“Eskom has been making losses and is reliant on the taxpayer for funding…so the offer is dependent on the workers excepting some changes in the conditions of service,” he says.
The unions described the offer as a joke. “There’s no offer on the table, what has been given is a joke, a 1.5% that is conditional,” said Acting General Secretary of Num, William Mabapa.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said their members will not entertain any offer below the consumer price inflation, currently sitting at 3.2%.
“Eskom is playing with us, 1.5% which is below-inflation, is not even a starter for our discussions. We told them that we’re not accepting the 1.5%. We can only talk about them making an offer if the 1.5 is above inflation,” says Numsa’s Chief Negotiator Vuyo Bikitsha.
Both Num and Numsa are demanding a 15% salary increase with Solidarity pushing for a 9.5% hike.