Negotiators for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity had been in talks with Eskom since April on a deal as the current wage agreement expires at the end of this month.
It comes as the utility is implementing electricity cuts, leaving South African households and businesses in the dark for up to 10 hours a day, as it struggles with breakdowns at its coal-fired generating units.
“The collective agreement will go a long way… to collaboratively work together to urgently address our most pressing challenges,” Eskom acting Chief Executive Officer Calib Cassim said in a statement after the deal was signed.
The deal also includes a 7% rise in non-managerial workers’ housing allowances over the three-year period, and a taxable payment of 10,000 rand ($545.03) in each of the first two years of the agreement.
The unions had initially sought wage hikes of 9.5% to 12%. NUM and NUMSA had at first demanded a 15% rise in pay while Solidarity sought 10.1%.
“We are pleased to announce that we have come to an amicable agreement which suits all parties,” NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said after a fourth round of talks.
The NUM also confirmed the signing of the collective agreement, which is expected to last until June 30, 2026.