Eskom's new leadership has put in place a number of measures to mend its financial woes. The power utility has announced a zero percent increase in wages and earmarked 10 000 jobs to be slashed.
Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says Eskoms's work force in the past 10 years has bloated to 47 000, spending 32 billion on salaries. He says this is one of the reasons the power utility finds itself in financial trouble.
The new board wants to give the utility a much needed injection, increase revenue and restructure debt, says Phasiwe.
At this stage they have not mentioned anything about retrenchments ... if tomorrow something happens to me they are not going to advertise my post but will get someone from inside Eskom. That's how they are going to reduce the number of employees gradually.— Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson
Phasiwe says looking at workers' performance, they do deserve a salary increase and bonuses but Eskom's current financial state doesn't allow for that.
The management is saying the company is on the verge of financial ruin. They are appealing to the workers to be a bit patient so that we improve our revenue, our efficiency and productivity.— Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson
The South African Federation of Trade Union (Saftu) says Eskom is forcing employees to carry the burden of corruption and mismanagement.
The federation's Zwelinzima Vavi says all of Eskom's 'shenanigans' have come back to bite them and they are targeting the employees to pay for their mistakes.
They are saying to the workers, you must pay for the mess you didn't create, the mess you protested against and now you have to clean up— Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu general-secretary
A refusal to pay salary increase it is actually a statement to cut the living standards of workers in 2018 going forward at the time when we've just seen a 82c per litre of petrol increased.— Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu general-secretary
To hear the rest of the conversation on Eskom zero% increase, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Eskom: No plans to retrench workers for now