Protests at power plants not impacting Eskom production, says utility

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Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.

Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.

Protest action by some Eskom workers at five of its power plants did not have any significant impact on the utility’s production, spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said on Tuesday afternoon.

The protests kicked off on Tuesday morning after representatives of Eskom contractors and temporary employees vowed that they would demonstrate over the alleged failure of Rotek Industries to pay temporary and outsourced workers on time.

Rotek Industries is a subsidiary of Eskom that provides construction, maintenance and transportation services.

On Tuesday morning Fin24 received notifications of protest action obstructing roads near a number of power plants, including Hendrina, Grootvlei, Tutuka, Kusile and Kendal. A protest organiser said on Tuesday the protests will continue and would reach more stations on Wednesday.

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Protest organiser and convener of EFF Ground Forces in the Nkangala region, Timothy Kgokong, said protestors managed to protest at eight power stations on Tuesday and planned to reach more Mpumalanga, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal by Wednesday.

“The arrogance that Eskom demonstrated today by unleashing law enforcement on our peaceful protestors at Kendal, Kusile and Grootvlei takes us back to the issue of continued protests, which will affect production and that could lead to load shedding,” said Kgokong.

Kgokong said the case of Rotek Industry’s outsourcing of services had been with the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration since February. He said that some affected workers have lost faith in the unions meant to represent them. 

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