NUM threatens more power cuts over Eskom split

eNCA writes that South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) threatened on Wednesday to cause more power cuts over the government’s decision to forge ahead with a plan to break up struggling state power firm Eskom. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan presented long awaited details of the plan to break Eskom and open up the power sector to greater competition. “NUM is angered with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s decision to go ahead with the unbundling of Eskom,” the union said in a statement on Wednesday.

It made demands, including that officials abandon the plan to split Eskom and cancel power purchase agreements with independent power producers. “If these demands are not met we will shut down electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as such plunging the country into darkness,” the statement said. Analysts welcomed Gordhan’s plans but were sceptical that officials would follow through with them in full, given fierce opposition from unions and vested interests in the energy sector.

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Public servants call for urgent talks on wage cuts

Engineering News writes that South Africa’s public-service union called for urgent talks with the government on plans to reduce the state’s wage bill. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said last month he’s redoubling efforts to cut the government’s payroll to rein in a widening budget deficit. The Public Servants Association, the main state-employee labor union, said any attempts […]