Members of the SACP, the National Union of Metal Workers and Cosatu march at Eskom’s head offices and the bargaining council in Bellville yesterday where they delivered two memorandums.  Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Members of the SACP, the National Union of Metal Workers and Cosatu march at Eskom’s head offices and the bargaining council in Bellville yesterday where they delivered two memorandums. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Members of the SACP, the National Union of Metal Workers and Cosatu march at Eskom’s head offices and the bargaining council in Bellville yesterday where they delivered two memorandums.  Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Members of the SACP, the National Union of Metal Workers and Cosatu march at Eskom’s head offices and the bargaining council in Bellville yesterday where they delivered two memorandums. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Hundreds of people protested in Bellville yesterday, marching from Eskom’s offices to the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC), where they handed over two memorandums.

Around 200 members of the SACP and the National Union of Mineworkers moved through the streets in protest at looming electricity tariff increases, the implementation of independent power providers and calling for a review of the Eskom executive and the recall of chief executive Phakamani Hadebe.

The marchers also called for a change in the membership system and an end to “manipulation of membership funds by the BIBC” and demanded the improvement of the capacity and investigation on the inspectorate of the Department of Labour.

NUM Western Cape regional secretary Sonwabile Fisa said: “We have made urgent appeals to both the BIBC and the labour department, and we are giving them an opportunity to listen and correct their wrongs.

“Failure to do that will mean we will deal with them very harshly because we are going to go directly to the companies that are not complying on behalf of the BIBC,” he said.

In the memorandum handed to the BIBC, operations manager Mike Caldecott, said it stated that the council must correct the issue of membership where union members find themselves belonging to other unions without having given consent and having payslips show deductions for those unions.

Some of the other issues in the memorandum included workers being forced to come back to work before their leave ends, and no compensation is rewarded, and travelling in hazardous transport.

Caldecott said he would hand the memorandum over to the relevant officials tomorrow.

Head of the inspectorate at the Department of Labour, David Esau, accepted and signed the memorandum handed to him.

It states: “We demand transparency on investigations on the fatalities concerning our members which are happening in the construction industry.”

SACP provincial spokesperson Zuko Mndayi said the two bodies would be given seven days to respond.

The march comes after unions rejected a 7% wage increase from Eskom on Friday.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the parties would meet again on Tuesday.

“Negotiations by their very nature are give and take.

“So we’re at 7% now and the fact that all the parties are still willing to speak means that we can find some middle ground, because this is all about keeping the lights on,” he said.