The privatisation of Eskom is a betrayal – Cosatu

Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s key economic reforms have been met with arguments from ANC alliance partners, including Cosatu and the SACP, according to a report in the City Press.

One of Mboweni’s proposals is the sale of coal-fired stations at Eskom through a plan to auction off the power utility’s coal-generation capacity.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said this strategy is completely opposed with the ANC 2019 elections manifesto, in addition to the party’s long-standing position and Ramaphosa’s pronouncements.

He added that Treasury’s approach to economic reform will make matters worse for workers.

Pamla argued that the sale of 70% of Eskom’s generation capacity amounted to the essential privatisation of the power utility and would result in the complete collapse of Eskom.

He added that Cosatu would engage in discussions regarding how to save Eskom, but only under the conditions that there will be no retrenchments and that corrupt executives be brought to justice.

Fix Eskom fast

In August, a vision and strategy document was leaked which outlined the next steps for restructuring Eskom.

According to the document, the first step has already been announced by President Ramaphosa and involves splitting Eskom into three subsidiary companies for generation, transmission, and distribution.

The second step involves making the transmission company a non-Eskom entity. It would instead become a separate, state-owned company under the Department of Public Enterprises.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulax Nxesi recently stressed the importance of implementing changes at Eskom soon.

“Any economic growth is invariably tied to a competitive electricity price, security of supply and a sustainable state-owned utility that will require significant restructuring,” said Nxesi.

Nxesi also said in his speech that the government is looking at how Eskom can be used to increase job creation in South Africa.

“Government is carefully looking at state-owned entities which are a catalyst for jobs, and in particular Eskom, which is critical.”

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The privatisation of Eskom is a betrayal – Cosatu