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Nelson Mandela Bay Metro workers are protesting illegally over wages

In South Africa, residents of Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth have had a load shedding ‘free’ weekend due to the city’s electrical staff partaking in an unprotected strike on Friday.

The protesting staff are responsible for implementing the scheduled power outages in line with the South African state-owned power utility Eskom’s national load shedding requirements, News24 reported.

Cause of protest

According to local media, the motive behind the protest is due to salary issues.

This illegal strike follows the 2015/16 budget for the metro, which was mooted under newly appointed Mayor Danny Jordaan, which instituted a ZAR500 million ($40 million) cut from wages for vacant positions and special skills levies as well as an additional ZAR123 million ($10 million) cut in the maintenance budget.

Addressing the issue

Metro spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, told local radio station Algoa FM that the strike has placed a substantial amount of strain on services and has caused delays in attending to electricity related problems within the metro.

Mniki added that the Portfolio Chairperson of Infrastructure and Engineering, Councillor Andile Mfunda, met with striking workers on Monday in order to find common ground, Algoa FM said.

Mniki said that the strike does effect load shedding and that it may not always run according to the schedule adding that the situation will remain unchanged until a resolution is found.