Eskom has agreed to take its 0% wage offer off the table and return to the negotiation table with labour unions in an effort to end protest action, which has disrupted electricity supply.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan convened a meeting on Friday, with the Eskom board, management and labour unions with the intention of getting all parties to engage on the issues around the employee salary negotiations.
According to Gordhan the parties agreed that the current disruptions at Eskom, which resulted in load shedding, were not beneficial to anyone and it was essential to get all parties back to the negotiation table, to normalise relationships and to normalise operations at Eskom.
“It was agreed that the 0% offer from Eskom is off the table [and] to normalise operations immediately to restore normal production in order to ensure the security of electricity supply; to engage on other key issues that impact on the future sustainability of Eskom such as coal costs, the impact of policy, including IPPs and building trustworthy relationship between the parties as part of the process post negotiations,” Gordhan explained.
Acts of sabotage and intimidation
Prior to implementing load shedding, Eskom on Thursday announced that the generation and distribution of electricity across its network was constrained due to acts of sabotage and intimidation as a result of protest action.
There had been several incidents of road blockades, attacks on staff, and wilful damage of electricity infrastructure.
On Saturday evening, the power utility implemented stage 2 load shedding between 5pm and 9pm.