Solidarity to take legal action against plans to use state pensions for Eskom

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Feb 11, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG  - Labour union Solidarity said on Tuesday it planned to take legal steps to stop what it called the capture of public service pensions.

The announcement comes in the wake of a recommendation last month by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) - a key ally of the governing African National Congress - that struggling state power utility Eskom's debt be reduced from around R450 billion through a special purpose finance vehicle involving the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages government pensions.

"To use workers’ money to help ailing state enterprises is to make a mistake to correct a mistake," Solidarity chief operating officer Dr Dirk Hermann said on Tuesday.

He said Solidarity had a broad strategy to protect workers’ pensions in general, not just in relation to Eskom.

"We are concerned that the Eskom plans are not limited to Eskom, nor are they just limited to public service pensions,” said Hermann.

On Monday the Federation of Unions of South Africa said it rejected COSATU's proposal to write off some R254 billion in Eskom's debt, calling instead for the entity to be placed under business rescue.

Eskom has expressed disappointment that its application for urgent relief in a case it brought against the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) after its 2019/2022 tariff decision was rejected in court. The proposal for the government to dip into public servants’ pensions for a bailout to halve Eskom’s R454 billion debt also hit a brick wall on Monday.

- African News Agency (ANA)

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