Eskom confirmed just before 6pm on Thursday that it has been forced to implement stage-one load shedding. This is due to a strike by the utility’s workers which has involved “acts of intimidation and sabotage”.
Spokesman Khulu Phasiwe tweeted at 5.51pm that “due to severe power constraints, Eskom will implement stage one load shedding from now (5.50pm) until 8pm”.
“Acts of intimidation and sabotage have resulted in Eskom being unable to ensure uninterrupted power supply,” he tweeted.
The load shedding comes in spite of a promise by Eskom on Tuesday that it had put contingency measures in place to mitigate against the industrial action. Workers are striking over the utility’s decision to implement a wage freeze as it struggles with an unsustainable debt load.
“Eskom sympathises with its over 47 000 employees who have worked very hard to help keep the lights on during the past financial year,” it said in Tuesday’s statement. “However, due to the difficult financial situation that the company currently faces, Eskom has decided to offer no salary increases this year.”
Eskom said that because it has been designated as an “essential service provider”, its workers are “not allowed to participate in strike actions”. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media