Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 March 2012 – The countrywide Cosatu strike tomorrow is expected to affect the mining industry, but not electricity and train services, according to Eskom and Transnet.

Trade union federation Cosatu is embarking on a massive nationwide strike, which includes 34 marches. It is being supported by several other unions.

The mining industry is expected to feel the effects of tomorrow’s stay-away. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is probably the largest trade union representing Eskom workers, followed by National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity. Both the NUM and NUMSA are Cosatu affiliates.

Revealing this, Eskom spokesperson Hilary Joffe said the majority of Eskom’s workers did not belong to Cosatu-affiliated unions, and that electricity was an essential service, therefore disallowing its staff from striking.

“Eskom employees are not permitted to participate in tomorrow’s planned protest action because electricity is designated as an essential service,” Joffe reiterated.

In terms of Section 77(1) of the Labour Relations Act (the section under which the protest is being held), only employees who are not engaged in an essential service or a maintenance service have the right to participate in protest action.

Transnet spokesperson Mboniso Sigonyela said about 45% of Transnet workers belong to unions affiliated to Cosatu. “We have mitigation measures in place to address any disruptions caused by the strike,” he added.