Venezuela has imposed a two-day work week for public sector employees in an attempt to deal with its ongoing power crisis.
The move follows previous measures such as giving state workers Fridays off, rationing electricity and ordering shopping malls to generate their own power.
“From tomorrow, for at least two weeks, we are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days for the public sector,” President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday on national television, adding that employees would still be paid for a full work week.
The nation’s power output has fallen dramatically due to drought, which has dangerously reduced the water level at the 10.2 GW Guri hydropower plant (pictured). The plant covers around 60 per cent of Venezuela’s 17.5 GW power demand.
Other forms of power generation are reportedly also in trouble, with eight out of 10 plants having maintenance problems according to union leaders.
Maduro said that while the Guri plant “has virtually become a desert”, the measures imposed by the government “are going to save it”.
However, his critics say the power crisis has been caused by government mishandling and that the drought has merely exposed the weaknesses in the system.