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Eskom: Messages warning of blackouts are false

In a voice note that’s doing the rounds on social media, people are being warned to expect power cuts this Thursday to coincide with a confirmed one-day strike.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says messages warning of blackouts are false.

In a voice note that’s doing the rounds on social media, people are being warned to expect power cuts this Thursday to coincide with a confirmed one-day strike.

However, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says there’s no cause for concern.

“We’d like to put it on record that there are no plans by Eskom to implement load shedding. We’ve noted some of the plans by some of the workers within Eskom to go on an industrial action, but we've activated our contingency plan to keep the lights on.”

Workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will down tools on Thursday.

They’re unhappy at the utility's decision not to increase salaries. Eskom says this is to rein in costs.

Unions are angered at the power utility's 0% pay hike offer. Organised labour is demanding, among other things, a 15% pay increase.

Phasiwe says the strike will be illegal as the power utility has been declared an essential service provider.

At the same time, Eskom says that isolated power cuts around the country have nothing to do with this week’s planned one-day strike by two unions.

Phasiwe says the power cuts are in no way linked to the issues between workers and management over salary increases.

“Some are planned outages at Eskom sites, others are from our municipalities’ side and others are unplanned outages due to people using a lot of electricity. This has nothing to do with the current issues that we’re dealing with and does not imply that there's load shedding.”

Additional reporting by Kaylynn Palm.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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