De Ruyter: Striking workers at Eskom power plants continuing with intimidation

The state of the grid has been further compromised by the ongoing strike, with De Ruyter saying that he is currently in talks with unions to try to resolve the wage negotiation deadlock.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Picture: @Eskom_SA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that there had been continued acts of intimidation at a number of the utility’s power stations as the unprotected wage strike by workers intensifies.

Eskom has warned of an increased risk of stage six power cuts from Tuesday evening’s peak after losing generation capacity overnight.

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The state of the grid has been further compromised by the ongoing strike, with De Ruyter saying that he is currently in talks with unions to try to resolve the wage negotiation deadlock.

De Ruyter has described the ongoing wildcat strike by workers as highly regrettable, saying that some power stations had been left severely understaffed as a result of the industrial action.

"At Lethabo, we have seen some pretty severe incidents of intimidation. Four homes of plant operators have been attacked by petrol bombs overnight, about 70 maintenance staff are absent," De Ruyter explained.

The CEO has called on striking workers to desist from the unlawful strike, saying that he was currently in talks with union leaders.

"We really are seized with the matter to try and resolve the dispute with labour as quickly as possible. I don't want the impression to be created that we are only going to be negotiating by Friday. We are going to be negotiating today," De Ruyter said.

Meanwhile, Eskom said that after successfully returning two units to power, it expected another four of the 10 units that tripped on Monday night to return on Tuesday.

The utility said that it would continue to update the public on the state of the grid but for now stage four power cuts continue.