SOUTH AFRICA: STRIKE/SABC/14/6/18 SABANews 1
JOHANNESBURG – The standoff between the SOUTH AFRICAN power utility, ESKOM, and its workers continues amid no indications of a compromise.
However, the organisation has assured consumers it will monitor the situation overnight to see if SOUTH AFRICANS need to brace themselves for another bash of load shedding tomorrow (FRIDAY).
SABC News says the power company had earlier implemented load shedding nationwide from just before SIX up to EIGHT O’clock in the evening.
It quotes ESKOM Spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE as saying the national grid capacity is constrained due to acts of sabotage and intimidation earlier today by members of the trade unions.
He says the power stations that are worst-affected by the industrial action are HENDRINA, CAMDEN, KENDAL and ARNOT, and ESKOM has asked SOUTH AFRICANS to lower power consumption.
SABC News also says in MPUMALANGA, members of the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS and the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA have demonstrated at the DUVHA Power Station in EMALAHLENI.
It says they have blockaded the main gate demanding a salary increase from the employer, and they have vowed not to return to work until management meets their demands.
The NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA is the biggest single trade union in the country, with more than 338-THOUSAND members.
It has united with the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS, which has a membership of 300-THOUSAND and is the largest affiliate of the CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS.
The national broadcaster says members of the TWO groups have come together to press for their demand of a no less than 10 percent wage increases, a FIRST of its kind by the rival trade unions.
It says ESKOM Chief Executive Officer PHAKAMANI HADEBE has braved a hail of insults to come and receive the memorandum by the demonstrators, whom he told the company is now willing to make them an offer.
Meanwhile the JOHANNESBURG City Power, in the SOUTH AFRICAN commercial capital, says it is currently not load shedding but will do so if ESKOM directs it to do so; but any of its customers without electricity should call./Sabanews/cam