The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it will join forces with its rival the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) next year to fight against moves to privatise Eskom and other state-owned enterprises.
Numsa general-secretary, Irvin Jim, says they reject President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of sabotage at Eskom, being part of the reason for the resumption of load shedding.
Numsa also rejects government’s statement that there are no plans to privatise Eskom. Jim says workers always bear the brunt of poor leadership.
“Across all our plants we are dealing with plant closures, we are dealing with retrenchments. We hear the President is talking about the sabotage which is unfounded. The real sabotage is what the President is doing to give the minister who continues to appoint lawyers to run when Eskom needs engineers that is real sabotage. What the minister is doing is choosing a board that doesn’t know whether its going or coming. We are saying enough is enough. We close the year with the decision that we will be embarking on a rolling mass action next year.”
Jim outlines some of the main reasons for the planned protest against privatisation of SOEs next year.
“To basically challenge that, Eskom must be fixed and we reject the privatisation of our SOEs. We reject for instance an intention to want to auction these SOEs – SAA, Transnet, Prasa and Eskom. We will be on the streets and we will be calling on Saftu. We are calling on Cosatu that it’s time to basically take a stand to mobilise workers to the streets to basically defend the future of our member’s job security.”
Stage 1 load shedding
Eskom is currently implementing Stage 1 load shedding which shifted from Stage 2 at 11 o’clock Thursday night. The power utility says it will revert to Stage 2 load shedding from 9 o’clock this morning until 11 o’clock tonight.
Eskom says the system remains vulnerable. It says although it has returned units as scheduled, it has lost additional generating units.
Load shedding is required to cater for further trips and to create capacity to replenish water reserves for Eskom’s pumped storage schemes.