Even though striking unions have reached a wage agreement with Eskom, rolling blackouts remain with us.

Trade unions – the NUM, NUMSA and Solidarity accepted Eskom’s 7% wage increase yesterday.

The increase will be applied for the year starting from the 1st of July 2022, to the end of June 2023.

This follows a weeks-long deadlock on wage talks, which triggered disruptive protests at various Eskom plants.

The country was then plunged into stage six rolling blackouts for the second time in the power utility’s history.

Stage 4 remains in place until 16h00 in the afternoon.

Then Stage 5 kicks in from 16h00 through until 22h00, where the power cuts will then again be lowered to Stage 4.

Eskom’s Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says the increase will be difficult to afford, but it’s important for the workforce to return.

“This brings the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) talks and the damaging, disruptive and costly wage dispute to an end, paving the way for a full return to work of all employees.  The system will still take some time to recover. As a result of the strike, maintenance work has had to be postponed, and this backlog will take time to clear”.