COSATU Gauteng condemns Eskom for plunging poor working-class communities into darkness in the middle of the winter

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Gauteng is perturbed by the Eskom electricity cuts to working-class areas in Gauteng in the middle of the winter. Many working-class areas have been without electricity for the past eight weeks. Workers are the most affected by this discontinuation of electricity supply and some of them are essential workers who are at the coal face of fighting the COVID-19 virus.

We do not support illegal connection and supports Eskom’s attempts to deal with illegal connections and payment defaults by some consumers. This though should be done taking into consideration the socio-economic situation of the majority. Millions of people in this country are living lives of brute survival.

It would be dangerous for the leadership of Eskom to try and save Eskom without accommodating the most vulnerable in society. Eskom cannot behave like a private company.

Poor working-class communities are not the source of Eskom problems, but thieves and looters are the architects of this mess. It is troubling that those who are responsible for the problems at ESKOM are not being targeted nor held accountable.

It is irresponsible for ESKOM and government to force poor people to revert back to using firewood, coal, and paraffin to keep themselves warm under a democratic dispensation. This dirty energy has proven to be dangerous to the health of society and deadly.

COSATU in Gauteng is calling for ESKOM to urgently fix all the damaged transformers in all affected areas without any further delays. If this is not done COSATU in Gauteng will have no option but to mobilize its members and society against ESKOM and the Department of Public Enterprise. We also call Minster of Public Enterprise, Pravin Gordan to intervene and restore the dignity of the working class in affected areas.

Issued by COSATU

For COSATU please contact:

Amos Monyela

Gauteng Chairperson

079 493 5002

Louisah Modikwe

Gauteng Provincial Secretary

074 226 6879