Eskom must get rid of thousands of skilled whites

Eskom must decrease the number of skilled white employees by 3,389, the City Press and Rapport newspapers reported.

According to the reports Eskom must cut the number of white engineers and managers by 1,081, and decrease the number of white tradespeople by 2,179.

These white staff cuts are needed to comply with South Africa’s strict new provisions of the Equity Act.

According to the reports the Department of Labour is insisting that Eskom must make changes to ensure its employee demographics reflect South Africa’s “national and regional demography”.

Skills shortage and Affirmative Action

Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said in January that the lack of maintenance of their plants are to blame on the shortage of skills such as artisans.

In November 2014 trade union Solidarity said that it has warned Eskom for years about the grave consequences of its serious skills shortage.

Solidarity criticised Eskom, saying that the company has been warned against skills shortages and about an exodus of experts from the company for years. However, these warnings fell on deaf ears.

A recent report in the Beeld newspaper made the claim that Eskom’s problems were partly related to the way it implemented affirmative action.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s Stephen Nhlapo agreed, saying that the manner in which Eskom applied affirmative action was hurting service delivery.

Nhlapo is quoted by SA Labour News as saying that job training does not take place at Eskom.

“Let’s be honest, a lot of the people who work at Eskom do not have the skills required of them,” Nhlapo was quoted as saying.

The full report is available in the 8 March 2015 editions of the City Press and Rapport newspapers

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Eskom must get rid of thousands of skilled whites