The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has proposed that Eskom be placed under business rescue as opposed to using public servants pension funds to bail out the ailing power utility.
Fedusa says it rejects the proposal brought forward by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) which suggests that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) should step in to take on R250-billion of Eskom’s debt.
The PIC manages R2-trillion of government employees Pension Fund.
Fedusa says putting Eskom under business rescue will ensure that outside and undue political interference in its operations and governance is prevented.
Acting General Secretary at Fedusa, Riefdah Ajam says Eskom cannot constantly seek financial assistance from government.
“We cannot be using workers money to rescue Eskom nor any other state-owned entity. There has to be conditionalities attached to it. And what we are saying as Fedusa, in particular, is that when it comes to the PIC and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), we have already extended via the GEPF to the tune of R85 billion, so this cannot be the only possible source of income to secure any state-owned entities.
So at this point in time we are calling for government to issue bonds that will support the process which is the underlying precept but essentially any kind of intervention must be taken, and going for the extreme at this point in time, placing Eskom under business rescue is an option that must be exercised,” expressed Ajam.
Meanwhile, the Public Servants Association (PSA) says it will oppose the use of public servants’ pensions to bail out Eskom. The organisation highlighted that they were angered by calls made by Cosatu for investment into Eskom using workers’ money.
PSA says corruption and maladministration at Eskom need to be dealt with before the power utility gains access to further funding.