Eskom suspends load shedding for Parliament to pass Appropriation Bill

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Eskom has announced the suspension of its planned load shedding, from 12 PM until 5 PM, on Friday in order to allow Parliament to pass the Appropriation Bill.

Eskom Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the power utility will be required to utilise some emergency reserves during this period, thereby depleting some of the gains made over the past few days.

Video: Eskom suspends rolling blackouts on Friday

Mantshantsha says in order to replenish these reserves and prepare for the week ahead, Stage 2 load shedding will resume at 5 pm and continue until 10 pm on Sunday.

“Passing these Bills is essential to keeping the government operating, as without the relevant appropriations there will be no funding for key state functions, such as hospitals, law enforcement and other essential services,” says Mantshantsha.

He added saying, “The suspension of load shedding has also been made possible by large industrial power consumers in South Africa who have agreed to reduce their consumption for this period to support the country.”

Eskom has also apologised for the inconvenience and uncertainty caused by these interruptions in  electricity supply.

The power system remains constrained and vulnerable. Eskom says it will communicate promptly should there be any changes.

Video: Eskom load shedding: Communities taking the strain

Eskom wage negotiations collapse

The crucial Eskom wage negotiations have collapsed after management suspended the talks and declared a formal dispute with the unions at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The move has come as a shock to the unions.

On Tuesday, the  National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is the majority union, lowered its wage demand from 15% to 10%, while National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) also revised its wage demand down from 15% to 12%.

Video: Eskom declares dispute as wage negotiations collapse