South Africa's power utility obtains court order to prevent strike - CNBC Africa

South Africa's power utility obtains court order to prevent strike

Southern Africa

by Reuters 0

South Africa's Eskom obtains court order to prevent strike. Photo: Publicdomainpictures.

South Africa's power utility Eskom said on Wednesday it had obtained a court order to stop a strike over pay by thousands of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members, after wage talks at the state-run firm stalled.

The company has branded the stoppage which started on Monday illegal because its members are prohibited by law from striking, but said its operations had not been affected so far.

NUM said on Tuesday that all of its 15,000 members at the utility, or close to a third of Eskom's workforce, will stop work on Wednesday.

Eskom's spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said the court order prohibits NUM and two other unions from going on strike.

"It's a re-emphasis of the Labour Relations Act prohibiting people working for companies such as Eskom from going on strike," said Phasiwe.

The NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said his members were not aware of the court order and it was not clear whether or not they would go ahead with their "full blown strike".

The labour dispute is the latest problem to beset cash-strapped Eskom, which has struggled to meet power demand in South Africa due to its aging power plants and grid. However, it has managed a year without rolling blackouts that have hurt the economy in the past.


(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)