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Fears rise of more loadshedding as wage dispute protests break out at Eskom’s power stations

File image: Eskom. (IOL).

File image: Eskom. (IOL).

Published Jun 24, 2022

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Durban - After failing to arrive at a solution during wage negotiations this week, Eskom employees embarked on an “unprotected” strike at nine of its power stations and other operating facilities over the last 24 hours.

Eskom said on Friday that the protest has been reported to the South African Police Service.

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It said the protest included elements of intimidation towards other employees and blocking of roads which lead to power stations and other facilities - raising the spectre of more loadshedding on an already strained grid.

The SOE said that should the protest continue further, then it may experience disturbances in its operation as well as an increased risk of load shedding higher than stage 2.

“Ahead of these disturbances, the power system had already been under considerable strain for a while, with Stage 2 load shedding currently being implemented.

“Eskom appeals to its labour partners and striking employees to embrace the higher purpose of putting the people of South Africa first, respect the law and to desist from illegal and undemocratic conduct.

“While exploring possible solutions to unlock the deadlock on the wage talks, Eskom has reported these acts of illegality to the South African Police Service and requested the assistance of the SAPS and other security services in restoring order,” Eskom said.

It said that an update would be provided should the protest over the wage dispute worsen.

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