Eskom CEO André de Ruyter says the power utility will be taking action against workers who embarked on an illegal strike over the past week.
The strike has hit Eskom hard, plunging the country into stage-6 load shedding as a mitigating measure to avoid a system collapse.
De Ruyter said workers at Eskom are not permitted to engage in a strike, as it electricity supply is considered an essential service.
“We will be taking disciplinary action against workers that have been away unlawfully. That may include the application of the ‘no work, no pay’ principle. Where there are acts of intimidation and violence, the Eskom disciplinary code will apply, and we will be processing the various investigations accordingly. Where there are criminal acts, these will be reported to the South African Police Service for them to investigate.
“Eskom is an essential service. Therefore, workers may not go on strike. In addition … we obtained an interdict [against the strike]. Therefore, there is a double breach of the law here. This is an unacceptable situation where the country is held hostage by [these] actions,” he said.
On Wednesday, the power utility said it was expecting workers back at their stations after Eskom agreed to re-engage in wage talks with unions. According to De Ruyter, this did not materialise with stay-away action continuing.