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NUM threatens total shutdown over Eskom wage offer

The ailing parastatal is trying to turn its finances around, and as part of that plan, is proposing not to raise wages at all this year.

FILE: The NUM workers on strike. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is threatening a total shutdown if Eskom doesn't review its 0% wage increase offer.

The ailing parastatal is trying to turn its finances around, and as part of that plan, is proposing not to raise wages at all this year.

This has incensed unions, who are demanding a 15% salary hike.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mamburu says that they're taking their demands to Eskom’s political bosses.

“If the CMMA and Eskom board structure does not work, we’ll go to the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe. If he doesn’t listen to the working class, we will go to the president of the country. If the president doesn’t come up with a solution, there’s going to be a total shutdown.”

Several Johannesburg suburbs have faced rolling power cuts in recent days, raising fears that the shutdown is beginning ahead of wage negotiations. But Eskom says that's not the case.

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.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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