Trade union Solidarity has requested industry players, government and State-owned power utility Eskom to convene a solution-seeking roundtable to discuss winter’s high power rates and the negative impact it has on the steel and chrome industry.
Under the Save Our Steel Campaign, Solidarity metal and engineering deputy general secretary Marius Croucamp said it had sent a letter to government requesting an urgent high-level meeting to delve into this matter.
“Companies close plants and shut down smelters owing to the higher power rates that apply in June, July and August. When production is halted at companies, no economic growth takes place, which could result in retrenchments at the companies in question,” Croucamp explained.
In light of this, Solidarity suggests that a model allowing for flexibility must be found to assist and support companies during the increased winter power tariff period.
“Talks with players in the industry have revealed that Eskom was not prepared to accommodate them as far as increased winter tariffs were concerned,” he said.