Tough action will be taken against employees found to have been responsible for last week’s power outages, Johannesburg electricity utility City Power said on Monday.
“While we respect our employee’s right to withhold their labour following lawful processes, interfering or sabotaging the network is a criminal act that will not be tolerated,” said board chairman Frank Chikane.
Employees worked irregular and illegal shifts, with some of them doing 24-hour shifts, he said.
City Power’s decision to change its shift system angered employees, who embarked on an unprotected strike.
The company accused its striking workers of sabotage after several distributors were switched off across the city.
People entrusted with substations and had the keys were responsible for last week’s power outages, said managing director Sicelo Xulu.
“Everything is back on track, no one is on strike. Security measures are in place at substations around the city to ensure that there are no more disruptions.”
Member of the mayoral committee for environment and infrastructure services, Matshidiso Mfikoe, apologised to residents and businesses affected by the outages.
“We apologise to those who were affected, and as much as employees have a right to raise issues, they cannot hold us at ransom.”
She said one employee who took part in last week’s outages had resigned.
“We are not going to be perturbed by resignations. We want them to know that we will follow them wherever they are.” — Sapa