The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Highveld Region strongly condemns the growing tendencies by Eskom of reversing the gains that the NUM fought for with regard to transformation within the state-owned power utility. Eskom is the world’s eleventh-largest power utility in terms of generating capacity, ranks ninth in terms of sales, and boasts the world’s largest dry-cooling power station.
The NUM Highveld Region has realised what it is called “A Reserve of Apartheid Clique” within Eskom. This clique comes from the school of thought that subscribes to a systematic exclusion of black people from fully participating in the economic activities of the country.
“It is an open secret that historically Eskom was run from racist policies and the promulgation of innumerable pieces of draconian legislations. The job reservation policy was put in place to cushion white people from the negative effects of a rampant trio of poverty, inequality and high levels of unemployment,” said Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary.
This clique still have the hangover of the apartheid system where blacks were never fit to hold certain offices. Further to that, the clique misses the time when they used to sign 40-year agreements with the white-owned mines to supply coal to Eskom.
“What triggers our reaction as the NUM is the fact that most African managers are being purged and replaced with white managers at certain power stations. These reverse the gains that the NUM fought for with regard to transformation within Eskom. Other managers are on suspension simply because they do not agree with the implementation of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs),” Mathavha added.
The NUM is not going to fold its arms when few white managers are wittingly undermining the gains of democracy that was achieved in 1994. Our freedom was fought for by people like Nokuthula Similane who was kidnapped and killed by the apartheid special branch.
We want to warn Jan Oberholzer, Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer, to desist from purging our African managers in Power Stations. If Oberholzer cannot work with African people, he must relocate to Australia or Netherlands because our state-owned enterprise cannot be held at ransom by his white racist attitude.
The NUM remained worried that since the introduction of Jan Oberholzer, the country continues to experience load-shedding on daily basis, a clear indication that Oberholzer is failing on his duties.
As the NUM in the highveld region, should Oberholzer continues to perpetuate his racist harbinger and propensity we will have to mobilize our members and respond accordingly.
For more information, please contact:
Tshilidzi Mathavha: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 066 305 7424.
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257