Eskom says it expects to be able to reduce rolling power cuts to Stage Four from 5 AM to midnight on Friday and Stage Three during the same hours over the weekend as it returns generating units to service after the unprotected strike.
On Monday, employees agreed to a 7 percent pay hike and have since returned to work. Eskom claimed that it was compelled to conduct Stage Six rolling blackouts in order to save the grid when they went on an unprotected strike about two weeks ago.
Eskom also accused the striking workers of violence and intimidation of workers who did not strike. Eskom says it hopes to continue reducing the level of power cuts following the strike – but has also warned that it is closely monitoring the aging electricity infrastructure and will increase power cuts if further units go down in the future.
South Africans have expressed outrage at the power cuts:
This week at the Local Government Indaba in Durban, Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has cautioned that the country’s already troubled economy and government services will be severely harmed by Eskom’s rolling blackouts.
“The load shedding does not only impact on local government or residents, but it also impacts on the economy, because no economy can grow when there is load shedding. So, the Eskom issue is a much wider issue and it is broader issue and it has to be addressed sooner than later, because the economy will just deteriorate and the situation is going to be untenable. There is going to be no stability when residents are angry because they don’t get electricity and businesses don’t make money.”
Different stakeholders gathered for the Local Government Indaba in KwaZulu-Natal: