The striking unions at Eskom, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have hit out at media reports that claim they have rejected Eskom’s latest proposal of a 7% wage increase.
On Thursday morning, Numsa took to social media, refuting media reports that the latest wage increase offer from Eskom had been rejected.
The union did not further state if the wage offer would be accepted or not.
Meanwhile, Eskom says the recovery progress at power stations remains slow due to many workers still refusing to return on duty.
A high level of staff absenteeism, some are involved in operations at the power plants, was reported on Wednesday.
This is despite the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) urging their members on Tuesday to return to work after Eskom management returned to the negotiation table, with talks headed to the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) on Friday.
NUM national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said they can confirm from the reports the union received across the country that their members were back to work at five power stations, including Medupi and the situation had returned to normal.
“We are facing challenges at a couple of power plants including Hendrina, Matla in Mpumalanga and Lethabo in the Free State. The workers are saying they can’t normalise a situation where there is no wage agreement signed. Our leaders on the ground are working hard to resolve these stay-away challenges at the power stations,” said Mammburu.
South Africa’s power supply was put into jeopardy this week as Eskom was forced to implement stage 6 load shedding for the second time in history as it contended with heavy demand for electricity as well as multiple breakdowns at power stations across the country and a shortage of staff, due to the strikes by the unions.