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South Africa

Numsa, Num yet to reach wage agreement with Eskom

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The unions said while the offer that was tabled by the utility broke new ground in negotiations – they had not agreed on the proposed offer.

Eskom Megawatt Park. Picture Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have demanded that public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan retract his statement that unions and Eskom reached a wage agreement.

Eskom staff members affiliated with the unions have been staging an unlawful protest at the power utility since last week.

This has resulted in the country experiencing stage 6 power cuts – said Eskom.

It comes after Gordhan announced that an agreement has been reached with unions to bring the strike at Eskom to an end on Tuesday.

He said the wildcat, unlawful strike was primarily responsible for the stage 6 load shedding that crippled the country.

“As a result of extensive negotiations between some of the unions and the management team at Eskom earlier today, an agreement was reached on the wage settlement that both parties will commit themselves to in due course.”

The unions said while the offer that was tabled by the utility broke new ground in negotiations – they had not agreed on the proposed offer.

The unions added that they were yet to consult members on Friday to find out whether they accept the proposal or not.

Eskom announced stage 6 power cuts on Tuesday – saying it was battling with power generation capacity.

Gordhan said the intimidation by striking workers had seen the country plunged into darkness – and property of managers and the utility destroyed.

“This intimidation – as I am sure all South Africans would agree – is completely unacceptable and it is primarily responsible for the country being where it is today and possibly tomorrow.”

But he noted that the situation would return to normal soon.

“The few hours that I have spent at Eskom today, I have been given the assurance that everything will be being done to bring the country to normality as far as the supply of electricity is concerned sooner rather than later.”

Expanding on the talks with Eskom, Num’s Livhuwani Mammburu said: “Num and Numsa can inform the public and our members at Eskom that the bilateral meeting this morning has registered considerable progress in that negotiations have been able to break new ground with a new offer – which will be tabled at the central bargaining forum this coming Friday 1 July 2022.”

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