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Eskom expects Medupi's unit 4 to be fully operational by August 2024. Unprotected strike action this week has further hampered its output. File image
Eskom expects Medupi's unit 4 to be fully operational by August 2024. Unprotected strike action this week has further hampered its output. File image
Image: Emile Bosch

Eskom has been granted a court order stopping the unprotected strike action at nine of its power stations and facilities over the past 24 hours.

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said the strike action and acts of intimidation against workers could increase the risk of load-shedding.

Some employees went on an unprotected strike after a deadlock in wage negotiations on Tuesday. 

“This morning [Friday] we went to court and an interdict was granted. This is an illegal strike and should any of our employees or colleagues conduct themselves in a way that is not appropriate we will take the necessary action.

“We have a disciplinary process,”he said.

The power utility’s management team provided an update on the system challenges on Friday amid stage 4 rolling blackouts.

Incidents of intimidation of employees and blocking roads to power stations and facilities had occurred.

As a result, load-shedding was on Friday ramped up to stage 4 from 11am until midnight and will continue throughout the weekend as Eskom tries to conserve emergency reserves.

Eskom said this was necessary to bolster emergency generation reserves to react to unforeseen circumstances and to replenish reserves to prepare for the week ahead.

Head of generation Rhulani Mathebula said many activities at power stations had to stop, including the manual loading of coal.

Mathebula said there were attempts to force employees out of power stations on Thursday.

He said some employees had stayed home for their own safety.

Oberholzer said there were low reserves of water and diesel at the peaking plants and stage 4 was necessary to protect the integrity of the system and preserve reserves to respond to possible emergencies.

Diesel stock levels at Ankerlig power plant were below 40% on Friday morning. “We are about 30%, which is extremely low.”

TimesLIVE

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