Darkness and load shedding are loading – NUM

Union angered by decision to go ahead with unbundling of Eskom

Darkness and load shedding is loading

30 October 2019

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is angered with the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's decision to go ahead with the unbundling of Eskom. This is after Minister Gordhan released a turnaround document on government plans to fix Eskom yesterday. The provocateurs of unbundling, which are the investors, rating agencies and the World Bank are celebrating this bad news against South Africans, especially the black majority who are still living under energy poverty, joblessness, hunger and without shelter. The unbundling of Eskom is a precursor to the privatization of electricity in South Africa.

The Eskom roadmap released yesterday is nothing else, but a strategy aimed at pressurising unions to make unnecessary concessions to please White Monopoly Capital bosses in London and Washington.

We met with Eskom on the 23rd of August and they presented a turn-around strategy that does not save Eskom from declining revenue, escalating primary energy costs and a realistic plant maintenance programme. NUM is currently concluding response to the Eskom and Government strategy of stabilizing, separating and growing Eskom, and circulating amongst union structures.

To save ESKOM:

The government must stop Unbundling plans and Tito’s plan of selling of power stations.

To improve the revenue: the IPP’s Power Purchase Agreement must be cancelled immediately.

We demand that Eskom must stop selling electricity to the municipalities, but it must sell the electricity directly to the public through a prepaid system.

Eskom must take over ownership and operations of the 7 cost-plus mines and improve its coal stock-pile as well as exporting for improving revenue. Cancel the 40-year agreements.

Start construction of nuclear power plants which is CO 2 emissions-free.

If these demands are not met we will shut-down electricity generation, transmission, and distribution as such plunging the country into darkness. It is not a threat but a promise.

In the meantime, the NUM National Executive Committee took a decision to march to the ANC NEC’s forthcoming meeting. In the process of engaging Eskom on these matters, we realized that by shouting at Eskom Board and Management we are barking at a wrong tree. The real culprit is the ANC government – our own government that we put to power and is now in the business of destroying jobs in order to appease the so-called rating agencies and investors.

Issued by Joseph Montisetse, NUM President, 30 October 2019