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Eskom’s ability to keep the lights on could be compromised with intimidation and road blockages "rife" at most of Eskom's power stations and regional offices on Thursday morning, according to a tweet by the power utility's spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.
 
Phasiwe also tweeted that the power supply to Eskom's head office in Suninghill had "mysteriously" been cut off. Six power stations rely on local coal supply, and these will be the most affected by the delivery stoppages.
 
Disgruntled workers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) are expected to hand over a memorandum to the parastatal’s management at the Sunninghill head office at lunchtime on Thursday, demanding 15% wage increases. The cash-strapped power utility has offered 0% wage hikes for the financial year. The parastatal's management team is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday morning to address the possibility of load shedding.
 
Phasiwe promised to provide regular updates on various media platforms. A placard circulating on social media warned workers against reporting for duty at Eskom during the one-day strike saying that people would be "subjecting" themselves to risk. However, Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi distanced the labour organisation from the threatening poster.
 
NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu, meanwhile, said police on Wednesday nighht fired rubber bullets to disperse workers who were gathered outside the power stations in Kendal, Thuthuka, Hendrina and Arnot.
 
"The police are intimidating the workers, in what is an attempt to prevent the picket, one employee was shot in the eye by a rubber bullet outside Arnot power station." 
 
"The workers will be joining the picket despite the threats, they are determined to make our voices heard"  he said.
 
At a press briefing on Wednesday, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said that contingency plans were in place to keep the lights on during the one-day strike but cautioned there were no guarantees the power utility would be able to do this.
 
Labour federation the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders met Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday afternoon, and they said he promised to call Eskom’s negotiators back to the table and up their offer, in order to avert a full-blown strike.
 
 
Source: Fin24

The Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute (KNII), has called on the Government and people of South Africa to end the xenophobic attack on fellow Africans living and working in that country.

“The perpetrated act is un- African, un-Pan African and impregnated with discrimination, hatred, abuse of human rights and against the basic principles of the African Personality, Dr Benjamin Anyagre, Executive Director of the KNII said in a statement issued in Accra on Wednesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

The statement said it was important to state that the act of xenophobic fever caught up in South Africa today cannot be so different in character from the brutal and inhumane activities of the erstwhile apartheid administration. “The Institute wants to recall once more that, it took the collective hatred, scorn and courage for many, many Africans to condemn the brutal apartheid government policies of racial discrimination.

“The Institute, calls for a Continental Union Government now, as one of the major lasting solutions to free movement of Africans, no matter, which village one was born on the African soil,” the statement said.

It said barriers created by the colonial agents must be dislodged, dismantled and broken down to ensure the liberty of endeavours in the midst of inter/intra African trade and industry with the establishment of jobs and business opportunities to all Africans home and in the Diaspora.

“The Institute calls on the Parliament of South Africa with all political parties’ representatives to condemn and call a stop to this tarnishing and disgraceful act on the embodiment of Africa,” the statement said.

Meanwhile Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa. Obasanjo issued the condemnation while speaking in Abeokuta during a courtesy call from leadership of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Study, Kuru, Jos.

He said the South African government should be blamed for the attacks.

“I will apportion more blame to the leadership of the South African government. While the immaturity of the youths can be excused, the leaders ought to realise the importance of unity and brotherliness in Africa. “While I blame the youths of the country for the attacks, I will blame the leaders of any country more that allows xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans for whatever reason.

“African leaders should also step up measures at developing their countries and improve the living standards of their citizens,'' Obasanjo said.

GNA

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