UNION SAYS ABOUT 6,000 WORKERS MAY LOSE JOBS AT SOUTH AFRICAN POWER UTILITY

The National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) says about 6,000 people could lose their jobs after national power utility Eskom announced plans to shut down five coal-fired power stations.

NUMSA says it was not consulted on the proposed closure of the Hendrina, Kriel, Komati, Grootvlei and Camden power stations which Eskom says it proposes to show down because it has enough power and wants to expand ties with renewable energy operators.

NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said Sunday the union would do everything in its power to prevent job losses.

“We obviously reject this (proposed move) with the contempt it deserves. Any employer in this country, if he wants to get rid of workers, there’s a process that must be followed, legally, procedurally, in terms of Section 189. When we received this news we were very perturbed and we’ve assembled our shop stewards and as a union we are consulting our lawyers,” he added.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the utility was in talks with stakeholders to prevent job losses while the government has also intervened.

“There’s an expectation from the Department of Energy and Government as a whole for Eskom to sign renewable (energy) projects but because there’s not space for the renewables, in terms of the existing capacity that we have, we basically are forced to close some of our stations so that we can make space for the renewable’s,” said Phasiwe.

“We’re engaging with Government and other stakeholders, and very soon we’ll have interactions with the unions as well I’m sure we will be able to work out an amicable solution.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK