The Eskom executive met with three labour unions on Friday as part of its efforts to turn around the embattled power utility.
Solidarity was present at the meeting, along with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
On Weekend Breakfast, Africa Melane gets feedback from the deputy general secretary of Solidarity.
Deon Reyneke confirms that it will take Eskom around four years to implement its proposed unbundling into three separate entities and expressed appreciation for the board's efforts to engage with unions about the implementation of the plan.
It looks good.. We asked for a second meeting to get more details.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
The union's focus is on how unavoidable layoffs will impact its members and Reyneke says the starting point has to be a skills audit.
From Solidarity's side we said, do a skills audit, then we can talk.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
We are open-minded that we can negotiate the best deal for our members.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
But does the union believe in Eskom's strategy?
We said to Eskom, to the chairperson of the board, that we hope this will save Eskom because it is in deep trouble and that we will work together to help Eskom achieve its goal to get it to being a more profitable institution for the country.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
If Eskom fails, the whole country will fail so we really hope we will get to a point where Eskom is profitable.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
Reyneke accepts in good faith acting group chief executive officer Jabu Mabuza's intention to "create fertile ground" for further engagement, during his short stint in the position.
History taught us that every time there is somebody new, they make these promises and they don't stick to that, especially Eskom. But he tried and we take his word for that and hope it will happen.— Deon Reyneke, Deputy general secretary - Solidarity
Renyneke says Solidarity's proposals will be discussed in the next meeting, scheduled for the coming week.
To listen to the conversation, click on the link below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Solidarity reports back after Eskom-labour meeting