NUM to march to Luthuli House over plans to unbundle Eskom

Cosatu-affiliated union calls on entire Eskom board to step down immediately

12 March 2019 - 18:50 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
NUM general secretary David Sipunzi has slammed the proposed unbundling of Eskom.
NUM general secretary David Sipunzi has slammed the proposed unbundling of Eskom.
Image: Sunday Times

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will take their fight against the government's plans to unbundle Eskom to Luthuli House.

After a meeting of shop stewards on Tuesday, the union decided to march to the governing party's head offices in central Johannesburg to express their opposition to the restructuring of the state-owned power utility.

NUM said in a statement that its members at Eskom were "very angry" that the ANC-led government was not being transparent about potential job losses as a result of the planned unbundling of the utility.

The union is affiliated to Cosatu, an alliance partner of the governing ANC.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his state of the nation address earlier this year that Eskom would be split into three subsidiaries - generation, transmission and distribution - to limit the risk of the whole utility collapsing.

The union said the move was not explained properly, particularly in terms of how it will affect workers. It has also called on all Eskom board members to step down, accusing chairman Jabu Mabuza of doing "shady businesses with Eskom".

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After convening in Midrand, NUM shop stewards' council resolved on Tuesday that:

  • thousands of NUM members at Eskom will march to Luthuli House on March 30;
  • Mabuza and the whole Eskom board must resign with immediate effect; and
  • all independent power producers' contracts signed by Eskom must be scrapped.

The meeting at Luthuli House will not be the end of it, however, as the union has also vowed to make its voice heard ahead of the upcoming elections.

"A total shutdown will be organised as from May 3 up to the national general elections on May 8,"  said NUM general secretary David Sipunzi in a statement.

"We are assured that our members will fully heed the call and join the planned march on March 30," he said.