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Eskom faces risk of loadshedding as coal delivery disruption hits power stations

Eskom faces risk of loadshedding as coal delivery disruption hits power stations

Photo by Bloomberg

30th July 2018

By: African News Agency

  

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Eskom has reported that coal delivery at some of its power stations was disrupted due to a workers' protest in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving the South African power utility at risk of yet more load-shedding. 

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe tweeted that coal trucking at Majuba and Duvha power stations in Mpumalanga had stopped due to acts of intimidation, adding that the public order police had been called in to calm down the situation.

Majuba power station takes delivery of 0.74 million tonnes of coal delivered by 700 trucks per day from 15 short or medium term contracts suppliers while Duvha power station's six 600 megawatt units produce 3,600 megawatt of power.

Eskom deputy spokesperson Dikatso Mothae confirmed that a disruption had occurred at the power supplier's sites even though she would not name the affected stations, adding that the wage dispute was at the centre of the protest.

"I can confirm that the disruption is related to ongoing wage negotiations. Workers have made it clear that bonuses are a deal breaker," Mothae said over the phone.

"We became aware of the protest this morning. Operations have been impacted as people did not show up at work. The system is currently stable but there is a risk of load-shedding depending on the use of electricity." 

Another round of wage negotiations between Eskom and workers' unions is set to resume on Friday after unions rejected the power utility's latest offer of a basic salary increase of seven percent each year until 2020, with a housing allowance adjusted annually by CPI over the period July 2018 to June 2021.

Mothae said Eskom may be forced to meet with the unions sooner than planned to resolve the protracted wage impasse.

Edited by African News Agency

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