The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) National Energy Shopsteward Council has taken exception with the Deputy President David Mabuza’s recent statement supporting ESKOM’S plan to reduce its workforce by 4000.

The Deputy President confirmed in Parliament last week Friday that ESKOM has communicated the headcount reduction plan as it forms part of updates that are shared by the power utility with the political task team on Eskom.

During the NUM National Energy Shopsteward Council meeting held between the 15th and 16th March 2021, ESKOM workers registered their anger towards the Deputy President statement.

We are surprised by this announcement as there was no consultation with the union about the planned reduction of manpower. It is a great concern that ESKOM has decided to communicate this issue of magnitude with the government and deliberately excluded us as other stakeholders.

The Shopsteward Council also deliberated on a statement issued by the ESKOM board supporting the Group Chief Executive Office André de Ruyter regardless of corruption and racism allegations levelled against him.

Those allegations are serious. According to the Eskom disciplinary procedure when there are allegations of this nature the alleged employee must be suspended with immediate effect. The disciplinary procedure clearly states that “when it is suspected that an employee may have committed misconduct and that his/her continued presence on the premises of the company might interfere with the disciplinary investigations, the manager may decide to suspend the employee with pay pending the outcome of the investigation”.

It is our view as energy workers that André de Ruyter must be suspended with pay until the investigation is completed. This is consistent with good governance.

The NUM stands firm in its support for the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to probe the allegations against de Ruyter.

We do not support the whitewash investigation that the ESKOM board has announced. It can’t be correct that the same board that released a statement supporting the GCEO and suddenly wants to investigate him. We believe that this whole process would not be fair, rather, it will be a mere cover-up investigation. ESKOM board must stop wasting tax-payers money by conducting the same investigation that is being conducted by Scopa.

William Mabapa, NUM Acting General Secretary, 082 880 4439

Khangela Baloyi, NUM Energy Sector Coordinator, (021)550 4294/ 072 450 6251

The National Union of Mineworkers 

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