The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), through its branches across the country, has investigated the real causes of load shedding as it is busy ravaging the country’s economy and frustrating the poor working class.Poor planning by management is at the centre of this current electricity cut-offs. The main contributor is the reduction of maintenance budget aimed at cutting costs and the low morale as well as demotivated workers, especially highly skilled operators.
“The NUM shares people’s anger at the enormous disruption to their lives and the economic prospects for the country caused by Eskom’s ‘load shedding’. It has become a serious national embarrassment and could have a major impact on economic growth and job creation,” says Paris Mashego, NUM Energy Sector Coordinator.
Our shop stewards submitted reports from all power stations. Our members have worked hard, throughout the weekend to ensure that the units return to service as soon as possible. However, the following will enrage harsher load shedding schedules to all citizens in the near future:
1. The reports reveal that the new units in Matimba and Kusile have also broken down due to defective equipment that was installed undermining engineering diagnoses.
2. Unit 6 at Kusile is down due to a boiler tube leak and mal-functioning of air receivers due to poor project management as exposed by workers in 2016.
3. Ingula pump storage will trip soon due to installed defective equipment.
4. Lethabo power station steam pipes which did not meet operational requirement burst and caused the death of an innocent worker.
5. 3 Units at Kriel power station at not generating due to a shortage of water due to shoddy repairs of the water plant.
6. The coal shortage from Cost plus mines is pathetic, due to mines failing to meet Eskom stock requirement while hiding behind investment in their operations. They have now resorted to delivering sub-standard coal that damages the boilers while they export quality coal overseas. The shortage of coal is compounded by the exploitation of black emerging miners whose contract has been idling.
7. Poor maintenance and adherence to operational requirements and the list is endless.
It is for this reason that we call upon the dismissal of the Board, the COO and the CEO who have extremely failed to implement an Eskom turn-around strategy. We demand that Government, as the owner of Eskom invest in the maintenance programme of power plants to save Eskom as such positioning South Africa for economic growth. The government must cancel the 20 year Power Purchase Agreement, the IPP vehicle of strangling ESKOM and stop privatization of the people’s utility. We also demand that Eskom must stop retrenchments of workers at all levels.
For more information, please contact:
Paris Mashego: NUM Energy Sector Coordinator: 079 517 1758
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257