State-owned utility Eskom said on Friday that power cuts could intensify, after labour protests at nine of its facilities linked to deadlocked wage talks.
“These protests included incidents of intimidation of working employees and blockading of roads leading to power stations and other facilities, inhibiting the free flow of personnel and commodities required for the generation of electricity,” Eskom said in a statement.
Read: Eskom says workers protest at some plants
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“Should these criminal acts of intimidation persist or spread, this would increase the risk of … load-shedding at higher stages,” Eskom said, using a term for electricity outages.
The power system is already under considerable pressure, with Stage 2 rotational cuts under way requiring up to 2 000 megawatts to be shed from the national grid.
Eskom said it had been making extensive use of emergency generation reserves, which were depleting faster than could be replenished.
On Tuesday, salary negotiations with trade unions including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa broke down after multiple rounds of talks. Read full story
Economic growth in Africa’s most industrialised nation has been constrained for more than a decade by Eskom’s electricity outages.