Eskom said in a press briefing on Wednesday that contingency measures to keep the lights on amidst lunchtime pickets on Thursday were in place.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has committed to ensure Eskom does not go back to the negotiating table with the same offer of a 0% wage increase, according to Cosatu (Congress of South African Trade Unions) whose national leaders held a meeting with him on Wednesday afternoon.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary David Sipunzi told Fin24 picketing outside Eskom’s head office in Sunninghill will still take place on Thursday despite Cosatu’s meeting the National Union of Mineworkers.
The NUM, a Cosatu affiliate and the National Union of Metalworkers are demanding a 15% wage increase, while Eskom is offering a 0% raise. The negotiations have been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
“Cosatu made it very clear to the Minister that while we support his efforts to turn around and clean up the State-Owned Entities, we will not allow a situation where workers are forced to pay for the sins of others,” Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
In a separate statement by Numsa’s parent body on Wednesday, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), called on members, workers and South Africans to support the “mass protests” by Eskom workers on Thursday.
Watch: Eskom media briefing 13 June 2018