Eskom obtains court interdict to stop strike, pickets
The power utility says at least 18 people have been arrested in connection with acts of violence and intimidation at the utility’s power stations.
JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has obtained a court interdict to stop workers from any further planned strikes or pickets but says the acts of violence have escalated in the past day.
The interdict prevents striking workers from blocking entrances, tripping power stations or intimidating employees, but it appears that this has continued, resulting in another round of load shedding until about 9pm on Friday night.
The National Union of Mineworkers, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Solidarity went on strike on Thursday over Eskom’s decision to freeze wage increases.
Eskom insists this is because it doesn’t have money, but the unions want their demands met and negotiations to continue.
#PowerUpdate: Eskom has obtained a court interdict which essentially prohibits:— Khulu Phasiwe (@KhuluPhasiwe) June 15, 2018
- the intimidation of workers and contractors who are not part of the illegal industrial action;
- the highjacking of coal trucks; and
- the sabotaging of Eskom's electricity infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/wM2gERnz8P
Despite about 60% of employees returning to work on Friday, acts of violence and intimidation continue.
Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe says the acts of sabotage started again on Friday morning with generating units being deliberately tripped.
“It has now become even more violent because some people have been hurt already. In one incident police were forced to fire rubber bullets. On Friday morning we received reports that there was an instance where someone was brandishing a gun. So clearly, you now have a situation where we are likely to lose some of our people’s lives.”
#PowerUpdate: Acts of intimidation and sabotage continue today at some of Eskom’s power stations, a move that has begun to threaten the security of power supply. Eskom will continue to provide regular updates about the state of the power system through various media platforms. pic.twitter.com/CPBL4AnPfA— Khulu Phasiwe (@KhuluPhasiwe) June 15, 2018
Eskom says at least 18 people have been arrested in connection with acts of violence and intimidation at the utility’s power stations.
Phasiwe says this is the result of acts of sabotage by protesting workers.
“This is a criminal act and as a result, 18 people have been arrested throughout the country but primarily in Mpumalanga, which is where our power stations are. They will be facing the wrath of the law. This follows obviously an interdict which we got on Thursday to make sure that people who are going to our facilities are not intimidated.”
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)