Eskom to take disciplinary action against staff who embarked on unlawful strike

That's the word from CEO André de Ruyter who on Friday during a briefing stated the power utility would be able to lift load shedding if workers returned to their posts.

Eskom Megawatt Park. Picture Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom will take disciplinary action against workers who embarked on an unlawful strike.

That's the word from CEO André de Ruyter, who on Friday during a briefing, stated the power utility would be able to lift load shedding if workers returned to their posts.

He's confirmed that 90% of workers at three power plants are still absent.

De Ruyter said management did not want to pre-empt wage negotiations that resumed on Friday, but they would act against striking workers.

“We will be taking disciplinary action against workers that had stayed away unlawfully and that may include the application of principle of their work and pay. Where there are acts of intimidation and violence, the Eskom disciplinary code will apply.”

He added any criminal acts during the unlawful strike will be reported to police.

Unions will take the outcomes of today's wage talks to members before a decision is taken on the way forward.

On Friday afternoon, Eskom will not implement stage 6 load shedding at 4 pm as planned. The power utility made an about-turn on the load shedding stages.

It said South African households and businesses would remain on stage 4 load shedding until 22:00 on Friday.

Thereafter, explained Eskom, stage 2 load shedding would kick in until 7am over the weekend.


A Macassar resident has told Eyewitness News her businesses and NPO were suffering tremendously due to Eskom's load shedding.

Waseemah Flaendorp owns a sewing business, a printing business and runs a non-profit organisation in the community teaching woman crafts and how to sew.

Flaendorp said load shedding was also damaging her appliances: “Just last night, I was sewing a garment and I couldn’t finish because while I was busy, the power went out; a huge problem for me. I also have a lot of orders and I cannot complete those orders and I am afraid people are going to cancel those orders.”

According to the local councillor, apart from load shedding, the community is often left in darkness for days at a time due to crimes like cable theft.