Steven Tau
1 minute read
16 Apr 2015
8:15 am

Load shedding for 2 more years

Steven Tau

While Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown yesterday apologised on behalf of government for inconvenience caused by load shedding, she said South Africa will continue to experience load shedding for the next two years.

FILE PICTURE: Sanele Sithole sits in darkness at Young Designers Emporium after a power cut. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy)

Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town, Brown said she was also concerned about the delays at Medupi amid labour disputes.

“I’m concerned, but I know Eskom is working hard to ensure that there is peace at Medupi,” she said. Brown gave assurance that the country was nowhere near a blackout.

Although the 1 700 workers at Medupi were reinstated, they are not going to start working anytime soon, unless their demand for a R10 000 completion bonus is addressed, metalworkers union Numsa said yesterday.

Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said they will be communicating with Eskom in writing, calling on the power utility to come up with an offer.

“Should Eskom fail to come back to the workers, then we will be left with no option but to embark on a solidarity strike which will see workers from the Khusile power station also downing tools.

“We are also calling on the minister not to intervene in this labour dispute, load shedding will escalate, resulting into a massive blackout,” Ngobese said.

The 1 700 workers in question were instructed not to go back to work last week, pending the outcome of disciplinary actions brought against them for taking part in a recent illegal march at Medupi.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said they were yet to receive formal communication from Numsa regarding the completion bonus demands.

He added that out of the 14 000 workforce, only 1 197 reported for duty yesterday.

As was the case for the better part of this week, Eskom again implemented stage 3 load shedding late yesterday.