Mining Weekly reports that the 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. Eskom produces more than 90% of South Africa’s electricity and the country has endured several rounds of power cuts this year due to unplanned outages at Eskom’s fleet of coal-fired power stations, denting economic output. On Tuesday Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan presented long-awaited details of the plan to break up 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.