Cape Town - The National Union of Mineworkers and its Western Cape branch will be embarking on a march to Eskom head office in Johannesburg and provincial headquarters in Bellville on Saturday as part of a rolling programme directed at stopping the privatisation of the power utility.
According to a statement released, the union is also demanding the Eskom board’s disbandment, the resignation of Eskom CEO and COO, and better wages and conditions of employment for Eskom employees.
“We are saying we have no trust in the board as it has failed to ensure that we are not experiencing load shedding again,” said NUM Western Cape Shop steward Phumzile Mvovo.
“We cannot allow a public entity to be privatised as the consequence of privatisation will be dire, not only for Eskom employees but for the country as a whole. Once you privatise Eskom, you privatising at extreme price hikes, and the poor will never be able to afford electricity again.”
“If you privatise Eskom, you are forcing the IPPs to take over. There is nothing wrong with the mixed generation of electricity,” he added.
During COP26 last month, the South African government pledged to transition from coal-generated electricity to renewable energy. NUM has expressed its frustration with how this transition has been introduced and the potential job losses that it may cause.
“We are not against the use of renewable energy, but the way it has been introduced is milking Eskom”, Mvovo added.
“If there is no just transition to renewable energy, we cannot just move from coal-generated electricity without looking at the jobs that will be lost, also looking at the already high unemployment rate. Some towns relying on coal mining will become ghost towns,” said NUM’s media officer Luphert Chilwane.