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Drivers' strike impedes coal deliveries to Eskom

If the transport strike continues it will start to impede Eskom's ability to build up coal stocks ahead of the summer rainy season‚ Eskom's chief executive Brian Dames said today.

He said that about 25-30% of coal used by the utility was transported by trucks‚ although it was gradually shifting to rail transport. Diesel and fuel used by Eskom was also affected.

"Our concern is that if this (strike) continues our stockpiling process may be impeded‚" he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference hosted by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

But Dames said there was no looming crisis. Eskom had coal stocks for about 42 days compared with 43-44 days before the strike began -- the only issue was that at this time of the year coal stocks normally increased.

Some 20‚000 road freight industry workers are on a wage strike that began two weeks ago. Truck drivers‚ most of whom are affiliated to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union‚ want a 12% pay increase while employers have offered 8.5% effective from March.


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