Frustrated citizens urge Eskom to address strike, blackout issues

Eskom announced that stage four power cuts would continue until Wednesday after workers failed to report for duty at various power stations.

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africans are hoping that Eskom will shed some light on what they can expect from its fragile grid this week following an unprotected strike that plunged the country into a weekend of darkness.

Eskom announced that stage four power cuts would continue until Wednesday after workers failed to report for duty at various power stations.

This led to delays in planned maintenance and repairs.

READ: How to check your load shedding schedule

The strike action comes after a deadlock in wage negotiations between Eskom’s management and unions.

The struggling entity has warned that more blackout misery is on the cards this week if the unlawful strike persists.

The interrupted electricity supply has many South Africans at their last tether, with some accusing Eskom and its employees of holding the country at ransom.

Citizens have urged Eskom to address its challenges, rather than punishing everyone.

“They are sabotaging [and] it’s irresponsible. They shouldn’t have jobs to begin with because there are a lot of people that don’t have jobs and are desperate for jobs,” one citizen said.

Another said that the power utility needed to consider those who had been recovering from the natural disasters: “And a strike on top of it is really no helping.”

While the embattled power utility said that stage four was a temporary necessity, it's also warned that the system remains constrained. So, the country is likely to be in for a great many more cold and dark winter nights.