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Eskom, the state-owned electricity supplier in South Africa, is facing significant financial and operational challenges, with ageing infrastructure and a high level of debt contributing to the ongoing power cuts affecting the country for years as reported by Randfontein Herald.

These power cuts, known as load shedding, significantly impact the daily lives of millions of South Africans, causing disruptions to business operations, traffic, and even medical procedures.

As a result, wage negotiations between Eskom and the trade unions have become highly contentious, with the unions demanding significant pay increases for their members. In this case, the Solidarity Union is seeking an increase linked to inflation plus 3%, while the National Union of Mineworkers is demanding a wage hike of 15%.

Solidarity argues that Eskom needs to pay higher wages to retain skilled employees essential to the company’s operations. They also argue that the cost of living in South Africa is rising for everyone and that employees at Eskom should not be left behind.

The wage negotiations come when Eskom faces numerous challenges, including ongoing load shedding and financial difficulties. The first round of talks is expected to conclude on Friday, with further negotiations to follow.


Photo by kat wilcox