The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) is appalled by Eskom’s announcement of load-shedding which will start between 9 am and 11 pm today the 16 October 2019.
The implications of this to the economy is going to be horrendous! It should be remembered that the 3.2% GDP and the intensified job loss blood bath was preceded by load shedding. We have since seen a reversal of this in the second quarter where the GDP grew by 3.1% but still with more workers losing their jobs. As we speak, 10.3 million, South Africans are unemployed, with 3.3 million not economically active at all. A freighting 56,4% of the youth, 47% of African and black women and 43% of African black males are unemployed with 7 out of the 9 provinces with unemployment of more than 40%. Poverty and inequalities got worse in the period.
Taking the country to the days of load shedding means this picture is going to worst. The people who are going to bear the brunt of this is the black working class.
We vehemently condemn the power utility’s inept and tardy leadership under acting Group CEO Jabu Mabuza and the leadership of the Board.
Jabu Mabuza and the Board has consistently demonstrated that he has been thrown to the deep end. He and the Eskom Board he chairs have neither experience nor expertise to take Eskom out of the quagmire it finds self in. This is not only demonstrated by the return to the days of the load shedding but the announcement that Eskom has lost a whopping R21 billion in this financial year and will lose another 21 billion in the next financial year.
SAFTU had condemned the appointment of Jabu Mabuza to double up as both chairperson and CEO. This demonstrates one of the major weaknesses of the ANC led government, the reliance of a handful of neoliberals that it trusts. Jabu Mabuza is one of those being recycled in the fast-moving revolving door. No one will convince SAFTU that there is no single South African with requisite skills and experience to run Eskom efficiently and take it out of the crisis.
SAFTU reiterate the call it made months ago that Jabu Mabuza and the entire Eskom Board must step down! This call is extended to the Minister of Public Enterprises who must shoulder political responsibility for the mess. We call on Minister Pravin Gordhan to step down too!
We believe that there is a link between this Eskom draconian step switch off electricity and their application to the High Court challenging NERSA decision. SAFTU is fully behind NERSA decision to reject Eskom application to increase the tariffs by a staggering 17.1% for 2019/20, 15.4% for 2021 and 15.5% for 2021/2022.