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Eskom Says Illegal Strike Doubles South Africa Power Outages

  • Demonstrations at coal plants began after pay talks deadlocked
  • Outages continue as company and labor unions meet on pay deal
Lights on in buildings in central Cape Town.

Lights on in buildings in central Cape Town.

Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg
Updated on

About half of South Africa’s record electricity outages this week have been caused by employees staying away from work during illegal protests, the head of the state power utility said.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. was forced to implement Stage-6 power outages -- equivalent to cutting 6,000 megawatts from the grid -- because of disruptions that have lasted a week after negotiations on wage increases stalled. Half of the cuts are attributable to the work stoppage, Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter told reporters on Friday.