Eskom Implements Stage 4 Loadshedding As Workers Continue to Protest Over Wages at 9 Power Stations

Eskom Implements Stage 4 Loadshedding As Workers Continue to Protest Over Wages at 9 Power Stations

  • Eskom has now implemented loadshedding Stage 4 after warning South Africans that worker's protest could lead to higher stages
  • The protest comes after wage negotiations between workers and Eskom broke down earlier this week
  • South Africans feel for the employees more than Eskom and want Eskom to meet the demands of the workers

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JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has followed through with a warning stating that should workers continue with plans to protest at various power stations and facilities on Friday, 24 June then loadshedding could be extended to higher stages.

The state-owned power utility implemented Stage 2 rolling blackouts earlier this week and will now implement Stage 4 on Friday until midnight. Loadshedding will revert back to Stage 2 on Saturday until Sunday, 28 June.

Eskom, loadshedding, higher stages, worker's protest, higher wages
Eskom employees have embarked on an unprotected protest over wages in various parts of the country. Images: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg & Mujahid Safodien
Source: Getty Images

In a statement published early Friday morning by Eskom, the energy company stated that protests have resulted in the blockading of entrances to Eskom facilities and the intimidation of employees who choose to continue working.

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Eskom stated that the strict action is unprotected and is the result of deadlock wage negotiations that took place on Tuesday, 21 June. Nine power stations and operating facilities are affected by the protest action by workers who are seeking higher wages.

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Eskom added that the blockades have forced the power utility it tap into emergency reserves which are depleting quickly and cautioned the public that there is a higher risk of more rolling blackouts if the protests continue.

"Eskom cautions the public that should these criminal acts of intimidation persist or spread, this would increase the risk of operational disturbances and the implementation of load shedding at higher stages" read Eskom's statement.

Eskom further stated that electricity is an essential service and industrial action is not allowed. According to Fin24, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) demanded a 15% wage increase across the board in May, however, Eskom maintained that it would not be able to afford it.

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Read the full statement below:

South Africans weigh in

@Xoli_44 said:

"So you're trying to recruit the public into stopping a strike by blaming your striking employees for loadshedding? There's low and then there's whatever you have just done with this statement. Meet their demands instead of using underhanded tactics."

@Kgafela_38 said:

"Loadshedding has become our daily bread, and ya'll don't even care about the fragile, children and people who are working from home."

@khustazm said:

"No, you must pay employees. You are overworking them. Don’t tell us about essential services. That doesn’t mean anything. You pay your executive millions. A lowly employee deserves a fair increase. Yes, it’s us who will pay."

@Brandon2H said:

"Now you need more excuses for depriving us of the electricity we pay for. Fire them!"

@NoBullshitBilly said:

"What time are you going to announce Stage 4 for the weekend?"

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@MrsNzimande said:

"So we are moving to stage 8 ."

Eskom workers protest over wage increases, block off roads making some power stations inaccessible

Briefly News previously reported that staff from Eskom have embarked on protests at several power plants over wage increases. This comes after the power utility reached a standstill with union groups over salaries early this week.

Eskom’s spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the protestors had blocked roads which resulted in restricted movement of people and goods outside the utility.

Speaking to News24, he said the protests have been mostly peaceful despite claims of intimidation. South Africans have been forced to endure Stage 2 Loadshedding due to breakdowns at the already exacerbated power supplier.

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Source: Briefly News

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