Picture: Dumisani Sibeko
JOHANNESBURG - Cash-strapped  Eskom has denied utterances by its senior manager that it plans to cut 7000 jobs in the next five years.

This follows a report by Reuters on Thursday in which the news agency quoted Eskom senior manager Marion Hughes as saying: “Eskom intends to reduce headcount from 48,678 to 41,613 by 2023 across all levels through normal attrition.”

Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae said: “Marion was referring to natural attrition. We don’t have any plans to retrench staff.” 

The struggling power utility has been butting heads with trade unions Numsa and NUM over their demand for higher wages, which were accompanied by acts of intimidation and violence at their power stations.

Eskom has tabled a 7 percent wage increase for each of three years, a 13th cheque and overtime allowance. The unions are yet to formally accept the offer.

NUM has said it was prepared to sign the deal provided that no disciplinary processes would be instituted against their members, who are accused of acts of sabotage and intimidation at their power stations.

NUM chief negotiator Helen Diatile couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. * This is a developing story.