Unions stand firm against Eskom unbundling
The financially struggling state-owned enterprise last year mooted job cuts as a solution to its ongoing crisis.
A freight train leaves the Eskom power plant in Hendrina on 22 February 2018, after having discharged its load of coal. Picture: Marco Longari/AFP
Amid the raging debate over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to split Eskom into three entities, the 700,000-strong SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has thrown its weight behind its largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), in mounting resistance to what it regarded as “privatisation” of the power utility.
Plagued by high levels of inefficiency and a weak balance sheet, Eskom – with more than 40,000 employees – has for years depended on huge government bailouts to fund its operational costs, which included salaries.
The financially struggling state-owned enterprise (SOE) last year mooted job cuts as a solution to its ongoing crisis.