Provincial members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the National Union of Mineworkers in the employ of Eskom are expected to join their national counterparts in a march to the national offices of Eskom in Gauteng today (Thursday).
Eskom employees are demanding, among others, a 15% wage hike across the board and a housing allowance increase to R2 000.
A joint statement released by the unions on Tuesday indicated that Eskom had wasted billions through mismanagement and corruption. “It is a fact that the Eskom management and board has been at the forefront of these scandals. Not one Rand has been recovered, and none of the executives fingered in corruption have been arrested. We demand that all monies lost through mismanagement or looting be recovered. Until this is done, we will continue to reject their claims of poverty,” the statement claimed.
It further read: “It is a fact that Eskom does have a challenge of a high wage bill but that can’t be blamed or attributed to the poor workers who are the lowest earners. Eskom has a top heavy structure. It has an abnormal worker to manager ratio. Some senior managers do not have any workers reporting to them and they have been rewarding themselves with generous bonuses.
“There are also high numbers of consultants employed to do the same work done by Eskom workers. To put the record straight, in 2001 Eskom was performing well and effectively managed by 80 executives. Today this top structure of executive has become bloated to about ±500 top executives. These people are paid exorbitant salaries that are destroying cash flow of this institution. Their average income is about R800 000 and above per annum. We demand that Eskom drastically reduce the top management structure in order to save costs,” continued the statement.
Asked if the protest action will affect the Regional offices of Eskom in the province, spokesperson for Eskom in the province, Dikgabane Rampedi said they are awaiting a directive from their national office. “We don’t know anything about the strike action. We are waiting for the national office to notify us.”
Provincial Police Spokesperson, Moatshe Ngoepe said they were not aware of the Numsa strike in the province. “We can’t comment about it, we don’t know anything about the strike.”
Story: Herbert Rachuene