numReuters reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday threatened to cause more power cuts over the government's decision to forge ahead with a plan to break up Eskom.  

The struggling state-owned power utility has endured several rounds of power cuts this year due to unplanned outages at its coal-fired power stations.  The NUM, a Cosatu affiliate and one of the largest unions at Eskom, fears the plan to split Eskom into separate units for generation, transmission and distribution will lead to Eskom being privatised.  On Tuesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan presented long-awaited details of the plan to break up Eskom and open up the power sector to greater competition.  "NUM is angered with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's decision to go ahead with the unbundling of Eskom," the union said in a statement.  It made demands including that officials should abandon the plan to split Eskom and cancel power purchase agreements with independent power producers.  "If these demands are not met we will shut down electricity generation, transmission and distribution, as such plunging the country into darkness," the union warned.  Another large union at Eskom, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), also opposes the plan to split Eskom.


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