Unions representing workers at Eskom have accepted the 7-percent wage offer from Eskom. The National Union of Mineworkers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa convened a shop steward council meeting in Sandton, north of Johannesburg on Tuesday morning where the offer was discussed and accepted.
Unions accept Eskom’s wage offer:
The unions are currently convening a central bargaining council meeting with Eskom’s leadership to formally accept the offer. NUM Secretary General William Mabapa explains.
“We have been given a mandate, we’ll be meeting with Eskom after lunch time. Let me just confirm that we are going to sign, we’ve got a mandate to sign. I wish and hope that today we’ll settle and that workers go back to work and they must tell us and confirm that load shedding isn’t it, they said load shedding is about the strike. Now the unprotected strike will end, that mean the load shedding is going to stop, because the load shedding is going to continue, they must explain to us why there’s still load shedding.”
Infrastructure being affected by blackouts
The City of Cape Town says the constant rolling blackouts are having a negative impact on critical infrastructure like water plants, sewage pump stations and electricity transformers.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says they have put a number of measures in place to mitigate the impact on residents. Hill-Lewis says they have deployed additional traffic and law enforcement officials to assist when there are power cuts.
“Our city teams are out in full force dealing with these local faults. Most can be resolved quickly but some take a bit longer. We have got all our teams on standby to assist any time of the day or night. We’ve also deployed more than 100 extra traffic officers and law enforcement officers to help manage the traffic consequences and be a visible presence in our communities at times of load shedding. We have also activated out disaster operations centre for as long as stage six persists.”
Blackouts for eThekwini from August
Residents of the eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal will begin to experience rolling blackouts from next month. The country has been experiencing rolling blackouts following Eskom employees’ unprotected strike. However, the municipality has been exempted from power cuts as it did not have the sufficient megawatt capacity following severe damage to key infrastructure during the April floods.
As pressure mounts on the government to do something about the crisis, some energy experts say the country’s power problems can be resolved.
Hilton Trollip, UCT Global Risk Governance Programme shares more:
Head of the eThekwini Electricity, Maxwell Mthembu, “We came to an understanding between us and Eskom national control that we would participate in load shedding as from the 1st of August but it is clear that we have lost more than 200MW, therefore we are not going to participate on stages 1, 2 and 3.”