This could put “the cat amongst the pigeons”.
A developing situation regarding the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Eskom. The NUM represents one of Eskom’s three main unions together with the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and Solidarity.
The NUM Highveld Region has called for a total shutdown at Eskom and calls for the removal of the power utility CEO Andre de Ryter.
Should this action be supported by the other two main unions then there is a possibility that an illegal strike could occur. At the moment it’s more likely to be just hot air and I am watching this space.
Strike action could result in staged power cuts (load shedding). The general protocol of PGM mines is that, if load shedding occurs, they need to reduce overall power consumption. For load shedding Stages 2, 3 and 4, power is reduced by 10%, 15% and 20% respectively. Stage 1 and 2 typically requires a 10% reduction in usage. In this regard, energy-intensive activities are reduced. Stages 3 and 4, have more of an impact and will involve shutting down mills. The deeper platinum mines with sub-shafts requiring round the clock cooling, will have standby generator capacity for emergencies but not for operating compressors (Sibanye Stillwater and Northam). As for Stage 6 and higher, mine production would cease (see Auctus report: Major Impact of South Africa’s Energy Crisis on Future Supply of Platinum Group Metals).
STATEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS:
NUM Highveld Region to embark on a total shutdown at Eskom and calls for the removal of the power utility CEO Andre de Ryter.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Highveld Region held an urgent Eskom Regional Shop Steward Council today to discuss the concerns of Eskom insulting its employees by unilaterally implementing a 1.5% salary increment and changing their conditions of service.
Eskom CEO is alleged to be violating the South African Constitution, Eskom’s recognition agreement and other regulations. He is undermining organised labour / unions by communicating directly with our members on Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) issues.
The council has resolved for the removal of the Eskom Golden Boy (CEO), Andre de Ryter, as he has not been held accountable for the R18 billion Eskom loss and the Medupi Power Station incident due to his skin colour. The Golden Boy went as far as lying to the public that employees were paid R129 million in production bonus when in reality some got as little as R3.00 in production bonus. He is the worst-performing Eskom CEO since the company’s establishment in 1923.
The council has also resolved that there will be no salary increases and no voting in the coming local elections. The council also supported the NUM NEC decision to march to Luthuli House and raise concerns about the Eskom crisis.