Eskom plans against strike threat

ESKOM is ready to implement contingency measures to minimise the effect of a possible strike.

"Eskom is currently in negotiations with labour unions over wage increases," the power utility said yesterday.

"Should the strike go ahead, Eskom will implement measures to minimise the impact of the strike. This will not impact supply to the World Cup games."

Trade unions Solidarity and National Union of Mineworkers said an agreement was not reached because Eskom arrived late for talks at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration yesterday.

NUM is demanding a 15percent pay hike while Eskom is offering 7 percent.

Meanwhile Eskom has denied any power generation-related reasons for outages that have plagued parts of Johannesburg over the last few months. Parts of Soweto, particularly Orlando East, have had regular outages lately.

"The electricity network has been secured. But some areas have experienced localised electricity outages as a result of normal electrical faults occurring during the normal course of operations.

"The other power outages were caused by theft of electricity infrastructure," an Eskom statement said.

"We recently experienced technical problems on a network system in Orlando West - which received a lot of media attention. A cable fault at the Orlando substation on June 10 disrupted supply to residents in Orlando and surrounding areas and it was repaired on June 14."

Eskom expected the load on its network grid to increase this week due to the cold weather.

It appealed to its consumers to use electricity sparingly by switching off unnecessary lighting and geysers during peak times (7am to 10am and 5pm to 8pm) to minimise the strain on the grid.