Eskom has 16,000 staff too many, but they are untouchable

Eskom is massively overstaffed, but because of the government’s resistance against any staff cuts, the company’s hands are tied.

This is the word from Eskom’s national spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha, who was discussing problems at the power utility on Cape Talk.

Mantshantsha said an Eskom staff audit conducted in September 2018 revealed that the company has 16,000 more employees than what the company needs.

Despite the finding that Eskom has a bloated workforce, the government’s message to Eskom was clear: “Don’t touch them”.

“The reality of the matter is that the last call comes from the shareholder in any organisation, and Eskom is no different,” said Mantshantsha.

“In this instance, the shareholder happens to be the government [which said no employees may be retrenched]”.

Poor management at Eskom

Mantshantsha acknowledged that a lot of damage was done to the company through corruption and mismanagement over the past decade.

“Eskom has indeed had a lot of people that should never have been here, and indeed in the government which should never have been there,” he said.

The consequences of poor leadership and mismanagement are now manifesting in load-shedding and a crippling debt burden.

One of the biggest problems facing Eskom is the “damaged infrastructure” which is a result of years of neglect.

Mantshantsha said Eskom is doing everything it can to catch up with the maintenance of power stations to avoid unplanned breakdowns.

Interview with Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha

Now read: Forget load-shedding – This South African family lives off the Eskom grid

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Eskom has 16,000 staff too many, but they are untouchable