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Eskom contingency plan in place for Cosatu strike, warns grid still constrained

The utility has put contingency plans in place on Wednesday morning as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) starts with a one-day national strike.

FILE: Eskom building. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it’s made reasonable good progress to get all units back online but warns there remains an underlying constraint.

The utility has put contingency plans in place on Wednesday morning as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) starts with a one-day national strike.

The parastatal said it is in contact with police and lawyers in case there is a threat to the power stations.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger said: “We take it very seriously. I know it may potentially affect the operations of our infrastructure and our power stations and transmission systems and distribution networks.”

Cosatu is against President Cyril Ramaphosa's recent announcement to split Eskom into three separate entities saying it will create job losses.

The trade union federation says government needs to be pressured to act against the high rate of unemployment and threats of job losses at state-owned enterprises.

Eskom has also dismissed claims that the implementation of stage 4 load shedding on Monday was a result of sabotage.

The ANC’s Zizi Kodwa told reporters on Tuesday that Eskom’s implementation of power cuts is an attempt to sabotage President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new vision for the country.

Etzinger says that there's no reason to believe this is an act of sabotage.

"In this particular case, and certainly from my perspective, this is a technical issue. This is not sabotage as conspiracy theorists have been throwing out. From my side, I'm approaching it as a technical issue."

Stage 3 load shedding is currently underway and is expected to last until 11pm tonight.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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