'Load shedding has potential to chase away foreign investment'

Africa Melane speaks to the senior executive attorney at MG Law, Jonathan White, about the impact of Eskom employees' unprotected protest on the economy.

FILE: Jonathan White says that in order for the situation to be resolved, employees involved in the strike and Eskom need to get into a give-and-take situation where a compromise is reached. Picture: maximusnd/123rf.com

Eskom has been placed under severe pressure due to its inability to produce power for South African households and businesses.

The situation has been worsened by the unprotected strike by Eskom employees.

An unprotected strike does not comply with the Labour Relations Act.

This means employees have not approached a bargaining council, such as the CCMA, as essential workers to conciliate and settle a dispute.

Moreover, the employer can institute disciplinary action against employees involved in an unprotected strike.

But because Eskom had not approached the labour court, the power utility could not interdict the strike as soon as it happened.

Senior executive attorney at MG Law, Johnathan White, said the unprotected strike by some Eskom employees could bring the economy to its knees.

He added that as the power utility failed to provide power - sectors of the economy including manufacturing, mining and technology could be adversely affected.

White said power cuts had the potential to rob the country of foreign investment.

If we cannot keep the lights on, or power on, in relation to manufacturing, it really lowers the confidence of international companies to invest in our various sectors.

Jonathan White, senior executive attorney - MG Law 

This could result in the country going into a recession, according to White.

He said for the situation to be resolved, employees involved in the strike and Eskom need to get into a give-and-take situation where a compromise is reached.

It is really about Eskom putting a team in place of socialists in-house that can deal with employees as, and when, they arise as swiftly as possible... Eskom is going to have to give something, the employees are going to have to give way a bit, and then we reach compromise and also neutrality.

Jonathan White, senior executive attorney - MG Law 

The country currently faces stage 4 load shedding until 4pm today.

Listen to the full interview below.

This article first appeared on 702 : 'Load shedding has potential to chase away foreign investment'