Even if strike ends now, power cuts likely to continue for a week or two - Eskom
Uncertainty looms as load shedding continues and the question on the minds of all South Africans is, what happens next?
Refilwe Moloto spoke with Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha to get some clarity on the days to come and the state of Eskom's talks with the worker unions.
Eskom is back at the negotiating table and has presented unions with a higher offer than previously issued. However, that will not see an immediate end to the load shedding and the expectation is that stage 4 load shedding, at the least, will still be needed over the weekend. And even if the workers return today, there would still need to be at least a week of repairs and maintenance before any return to normalcy can happen.
We will need a minimum of stage 4 during the weekend. [...] Even if there is an agreement at the bargaining forum today and workers call off the strike, the plant still needs a week or two of repairs to bring it to a stage where we can get a serious reprieve. Hopefully get back to pre-strike levels, which was stage 2 or even better, where we could suspend load shedding.Sikonathi Mantshantsha - Eskom Spokesperson
Should an agreement not be finalised, would stage 6 load shedding be on the cards for the coming weekend?
Mantshantsha's belief was that this would most likely depend on the level of striker intimidation against those workers who are prepared to man their stations. According to Mantshantsha, at this time, intimidation incidents and other protests were not happening at any Eskom power stations.
We have seen security messages from the labour unions where they said they would get on to buses and go the head office. That's better if they do that; the power stations are left to operate and that's where the electricity is produced. So if we don't have disturbances at the power plants, we will be able to keep to the promise of stage 4 and hopefully even lower.Sikonathi Mantshantsha - Eskom Spokesperson
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Source : Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN