Eyewitness News understands that President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to meet with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Monday, along with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Energy Minister Jeff Radebe.
The NUM has threatened to shut down the country’s power grid in the days leading up to the elections following a deadlock with government about the future of Eskom.
The labour union has rejected government’s plan to split the power utility into three entities comprising of generation, transmission and distribution.
As election day draws closer, Ramaphosa is under pressure to appease organised labour.
The NUM says it’s concerned about inconsistent messages from government, with Ramaphosa, on one hand, guaranteeing that there will be no job losses at Eskom as a result of the restructuring, while on the other hand, Gordhan has told Parliament that workers will be offered voluntary packages.
NUM general secretary David Sipunzi has told EWN that Monday’s meeting will clarify issues that triggered threats to pull union support for the African National Congress during the elections.
“We want them to tell us what it is that they are doing, which has opposed what the president has been saying.”
If the meeting fails to bring about common ground, South Africans could be subjected to power cuts worse than those experienced during the stage 4 load shedding over the past few days.
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