Aug 10, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

90% of workers have not returned to work at three power stations: Eskom

Eskom said that 90% of the workers at the Matla, Hendrina and Arnot power plants did not return.

The energy company confirmed that among them are essential workers.

, CEO said Andre de Ruyter some stayed away due to intimidation.

Eskom management provided an update on current system challenges on Friday. De Ruyter said they will take disciplinary action against workers who didn’t come to work.

“Returning to work is important to relieve burden,” he said.

Wage talks are where the power company and unions are embroiled in pay rise negotiations in the bargaining forum.

The power company announced Friday morning that it had replenished its overnight emergency reserves enough to avoid requiring Level 6 load shedding during the period in the morning and in the early afternoon, which allows a reduction to level 4. However, load shedding level 6 would be performed from 4pm to 10pm.

“Our reserves are running low, this is something we are addressing. We procure an additional supply of diesel. We haven’t backfilled our dams as much as we would have liked and so unfortunately we have to return to level 6 load shedding from 4pm to allow us to navigate safely throughout the period,” he said. p>

The energy company reiterated that the municipality of eThekwini was not relieved after the flood damage.

De Ruyter said total diesel fuel spending in June was R1.54 billion behind budget from R700m. The utility has spent about R4.14 billion on diesel since January. He said the utility had spent more than expected on diesel to try to avoid load shedding and also because of the high price of fuel.

He said he had held talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa about the challenges said but he cannot discuss the content of their discussions.

De Ruyter said illegal protest actions by workers were responsible for about 2,700 MW of generation capacity being offline, which corresponds to about three stages of load shedding.

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Rhulani Mathebula, Eskom’s acting managing director for generation capacities, said although no sabotage was observed, some employees had damaged their personal property.

“We are aware that there is maintenance work going on at the plants not happening – and that alone leads to deficiencies that are not being addressed.

“There are plants that are critically affected and we will need some time to address them,” he said.