Unions demand to see Ramaphosa over Eskom wage talks

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The National Union of Mineworkers and Numsa are demanding a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and the Eskom Board.

Last week, Eskom tabled a 0% wage increase, with unions demanding 15%.

Eskom employees are threatening to embark on a one-day shutdown on Thursday.

Addressing a media briefing in Kempton Park East of Johannesburg, Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim says they are left with no option but to declare a dispute against Eskom management.

“All centres of power that matters to Eskom will be engaged. We are clear that we want to have a meeting with the President, Minister of Energy and we will engage with the board of Eskom. Both Numsa and Num are very clear that we are not part of supporting the austerity measures. We were never consulted that the National Treasury will not budget to ensure that Eskom as a critical institution is resourced. So we are firm that government should do everything to ensure that Eskom is resourced.”

Eskom  says contingency plans will take effect to ensure the supply of electricity to consumers, if the worker’s go on strike.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Pasiwe says Eskom does have back up plans to keep the lights on should the strike go ahead.

“The intentions by some of the unions to go on strike on Thursday. From our end we really would like to remind them that in terms of the law, and it’s not an Eskom law, but the loss of this nation, people who work for companies like Eskom are not supposed to go on strike. And if that happens that they go on strike we can assure South Africa that we do have measures that we will be putting in place to make sure that we keep the system running.”