Power stations will operate amid looming strike, says Eskom


Eskom's Lethabo power station situated between Vereeniging and Sasolburg in the Free State on 18 January 2015.

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom said on Wednesday that its power stations will operate despite a strike by its employees.

The power utility said it has "contingency measures" to mitigate against the planned industrial action.

Unions have rejected Eskom&39;s refusal to offer any salary increases this year, citing a “difficult financial situation”.

The strike was expected to begin on Thursday but members of National Unions of Mineworkers and Metalworkers(Numsa) at the Hendrina power station have already downed tools.

Employees are not allowed to legally strike, as they&39;re deemed essential service workers.

WATCH: Numsa, NUM press conference on Eskom wage offer

The strike could lead to power cuts across the country.

“In an effort to ensure security of power supply, Eskom will activate its contingency measures should the industrial action take place.

"Eskom will continue to provide regular updates about the state of the power system through various media platforms,” it said in a media statement.

Unions demand a 15 percent increase.

READ: Eskom insists there&39;s no risk of load-shedding

Numsa secretary-general Irvin Jim said they will have demonstrations.

"If the lights switch off, it will be workers who are exercising their demonstration of the rejection of the 0 percent."

Eskom is facing serious financial woes, including debt of R350-billion.

The financially ailing power utility has asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for a 5 percent tariff hike.