COSATU demands the reinstatement of 56 workers who lost their jobs at Public Bonds Projects, a company sub-contracted by Eskom at Matimba Power Station

07 June 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply troubled by the loss of 56 jobs at Public Bonds Projects, a company sub-contracted by Eskom at Matimba Power Station following the company’s withdrawal from the contract.

The Federation is calling on Eskom to ensure that these 56 workers are reinstated and absorbed by the two replacement companies that have taken over the contract. It is totally unacceptable that these workers remain victims of the reckless conduct of an Eskom service provider without any intervention from the power utility.

The General Secretary of COSATU, Cde Solly Phetoe led a protest march with our affiliated union SATAWU in Limpopo to the power station, today, demanding that all companies doing work at Eskom Matimba power station be investigated for conflict of interest. The allegations that some of these companies that are doing work for Eskom are owned by some power utility managers, including some politicians are scandalous and need to be investigated.

COSATU also wants all labour brokers who are contracted by the power utility to be compelled to comply with the law by employing their workers on a permanent basis. The power utility bears full responsibility for appointing and subcontracting unstable and ill-equipped companies with anti-worker tendencies.

It bears emphasizing that our rising unemployment is already at a catastrophic scale, which loudly calls for a paradigm shift away from the Neoliberal macroeconomic straitjacket that has introduced this fragmented and incoherent state form and role, including encouraging the outsourcing of certain functions in the operations of departments, agencies, and public entities.

These outsourced operations are some of the services and channels through which the state is haemorrhaging scarce resources through the parasitic Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs). The Service Level Agreements (SALs) or contracts involved in these PPPs have produced poor quality outputs and outcomes. These contracts tend to exponentially raise the costs to the state.

What is outrageous is that the outsourcing of functions and PPPs were sold to the public to save costs but, they are the source of corruptive inflation of costs, in fact, they are the channels of state capture as exposed in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

The Federation demands that the National Treasury must provide an analysis of the SLAs or contracts pertaining to outsourcing or PPPs with a view to revoking those that haemorrhage resources and implementing insourcing.

COSATU finds it deeply troubling that despite Treasury repeatedly claiming that spending pressures continue to mount, led by state-owned companies in crisis, there is nothing in a form of a concrete plan tabled on how it seeks to see to it that the public money, given to these SOEs, is used for its designated purposes, and spent within guidelines of existing legislation.

The leadership of the government and the ANC need to tell workers what progress they have made in honouring the ANC’s election manifesto commitment to insource such contracts where possible across the public sector and the state.

Issued by COSATU

 Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679