Unprotected industrial action at Eskom has been blamed for why the country has been plunged into Stage 6 load shedding.
CAPE TOWN – Unprotected industrial action at Eskom has been blamed for why the country has been plunged into Stage 6 load shedding.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefed the media late on Tuesday afternoon, blaming strike action by employees for the loss of 6,000MW from the power grid.
During the briefing, Gordhan showed pictures of some employees’ homes that were petrol-bombed, allegedly by some workers who tried to intimidate them into not reporting for duty.
“Eskom is in this position, as I said, because of the industrial action which has meant that in many power stations up to 90% of the staff could not attend to their duties at the power stations. They could not attend (to their duties) because of intimidation at their homes, intimidation through phone calls …
“This intimidation is completely unacceptable, and it is primarily responsible for the country being where it is today, possibly tomorrow, although during the few hours I spent at Eskom I have been given the assurance that everything will be done to bring the country to normality, sooner rather than later.”
Gordhan said they hoped workers would be back at work on Wednesday.
“Some of you would’ve heard by now that as a result of extensive negotiations between some of the unions and the management team at Eskom earlier (on Tuesday), an agreement was reached on the wage settlement that both parties will commit themselves to in due course.
“Agreement was also reached that these unions request their members to return to work tomorrow,” the minister said.