COSATU statement on Eskom bonuses and an application for a 17% tariff increase

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with alarm the reports that the dysfunctional and debt-laden power utility Eskom is planning to pay R1.8 billion in performance bonuses. This is happening at a time when the economy and South African households are dealing with load shedding because of the bungling by the decision-makers at Eskom.

This follows in the footsteps of well-paid Eskom managers taking the power utility to the CCMA demanding a 4,7% salary hike from the cash strapped state entity.
COSATU wants the issue of bonuses to be managed separately. Those workers who have earned their bonuses according to their PMS system must get them and must not be punished because of management failures. But those in management whose decisions have led to the current unacceptable situation of debt, corruption and load shedding should not get any bonuses but should be fired.

In fact, the government now needs to be bold and exercise its rights according to the recently promulgated Auditor General Amendment Act and attach the pensions and assets of management implicated in the looting, stripping, and collapse of Eskom. Their inept decisions are threatening to collapse an entire economy.
The Federation also reject an application by Eskom for a 17% tariff increase. This will punish the consumers and collapse the economy. Nersa must continue to reject such reckless requests with contempt and vigorously defend itself in court against Eskom management’s attempts to outsource its incompetency.

Eskom should be developing plans to recover the looted monies and collecting what is owed to it by SOEs, government departments, municipalities and private companies who are rigging the electricity system and stealing from Eskom. This includes reducing the tariffs charged by coal suppliers and IPPs to market related levels.

The ANC NEC needs to come out with real solutions to the ongoing load shedding problem in its upcoming 2020 January 08 message. The national government also needs to provide leadership and come out with practical ways to deal with this crisis.

Considering our high rate of unemployment, the ongoing load shedding will destroy jobs, reduce prospects for SMEs and cut off many people from participating in the economy. In 2018 Eskom board presented a 9-point plan but nothing has changed, and no one is being held accountable. The Federation is troubled that the Eskom Board is not being held accountable for this and other failures.

Eskom’s management and the government must explain what measures they are taking to avoid ruining the economy through load shedding. We reiterate our demand for a forensic audit to be conducted and a new competent board to be appointed to work with the new CEO. 

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794