JOHANNESBURG - As Eskom wage talks resume for a second day on Wednesday, trade unions have called on the power utility to bring staff with the capacity to take decisions to the negotiating table, in line with the commitment which was made to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan last week.

In a joint statement, the National Union of Mineworkers, (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and Solidarity called on the top management of the power utility to take these talks seriously in order to ensure they resolve the impasse as soon as possible.

"We are disappointed that Eskom came to these wage talks without the presence of some board members or the presence of the Group CEO Phakamani Hadebe," they said.

"This was one of the fundamental conditions of the opening of wage talks. We want to engage but we cannot engage with people who do not have the power to take decisions. We demand the presence of the GCE at the meetings."

The unions will give a joint response to Eskom's revised 4.7 percent wage offer on Wednesday morning after meeting with Eskom management through the Central Bargaining Forum on Tuesday where the revised offer was tabled. 

Eskom is offering a four-year wage deal with a guaranteed increase based on inflation. For the year 2018, the offer is 4.7 percent, and an inflation based increase every year thereafter for the next four years. 

The company's response to all other demands which have been submitted, including an increase in housing allowance, payment of performance bonuses and other benefits, remain unaltered.

- African News Agency (ANA)