The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the signing of the Eskom Social Compact and its Implementation Plan by the leadership of the government, business, labour and the community at Nedlac on Tuesday 8 December.
This is a historic moment where government and social partners have come together to agree on a social compact to resolve a crisis struggling the entire nation.
COSATU developed the Eskom Social Compact because we appreciate that the power utility is the lifeblood of the economy. The economy needs reliable and affordable energy for it to recover. Continued uncontrolled load shedding is a risk to jobs and the economy.
The Federation is pleased that Nedlac partners have endorsed the Eskom Social Compact. It presents a comprehensive plan with 35 key intervention areas to stabilise and rebuild Eskom. Key components include:
· Ensuring the security of workers’ jobs.
· Tackling corruption and wasteful expenditure and holding the culprits to account.
· Reducing a bloated management and their exorbitant perks.
· Reviewing all contracts with Eskom to ensure that they are legal and affordable;
· Establishing clear control systems to ensure quality coal is supplied to Eskom.
· Compelling Eskom to enter the renewable energy generation space as an owner of the generation capacity.
· Putting in place clear just transition processes to ensure that coal power stations and mines reaching the end of their life span is extended, converted to other energy generation or alternative economic activities. This is critical to ensure that workers are not retrenched, and communities not devastated.
· A clear debt recovery plan for all debtors, in particular municipalities, government departments, State Owned Enterprises, businesses, and other large defaulters.
· Ramping up investment in expanding energy generation capacity.
· Placing Eskom on a sustainable debt trajectory so that it can prioritise investment in maintenance and generation expansion and thus reducing load shedding.
· Locally producing renewable energy technology, in areas where jobs are at risk; and
· Producing electric and hydro energy vehicles locally.
The Federation is confident that if the progressive objectives of the Eskom Social Compact are implemented in full by Eskom, government, business, and community; not only can we end the days of Eskom being a burden to the state and an obstacle to economic growth, but in fact, the energy sector can become a source of job creation, export and manufacturing opportunities. It can drive the recovery of South Africa’s economy and the region’s industrialization and enable South Africa to exceed its climate change targets.
Now that the Eskom Social Compact is signed, a dedicated task team should begin its work at Nedlac to monitor its implementation and hold all parties accountable. We cannot rely simply upon good wishes and neither can we afford for Eskom to fail.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794