“Eskom is trying to use wage talks as a scapegoat for implementing more load-shedding”

Business News

Tebogo Msimanga |

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) will be presenting its wage demands to Eskom and Rotek management this week in the first round of wage talks, taking place from the 4th-7th of May at the Central Bargaining Forum. The current wage agreement is lapsing on the 30th of June.

NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said they have not even had the first round of talks yet, but already “the dirty tricks have started”.

Jim said they reject the desperate attempt by Eskom in its latest statement, to link power cuts to wage talks. “It is an objective fact that the current management of Eskom under the leadership of Andre De Ruyter is failing to keep the lights on, and that under his watch, the country has experienced the worst case of load-shedding in history.”

He added that one of the burning issues which must be resolved in this round of wage talks is the issue of the ‘racist wage gap’. “Black people are appointed at the minimum notch while Whites are appointed at the maximum scale leading to a massive wage gap for the same task grade, that can range between R5000 per month up to R11000 per month depending on your task grade.”NUMSA is demanding that this practise must end.

Jim further said NUMSA has consistently called for Eskom management to execute quality maintenance of power stations using Eskom engineers. “It will cost Eskom approximately R7 billion for diesel in the 2021 financial year as opposed to the R220 million in 2017 during the so-called years of state capture, when quality maintenance was still being provided.”

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