Struggling Eskom splurges on 'unlimited fuel' perk for execs

06 July 2018 - 09:57 By Timeslive
Electricity pylons at an Eskom power station near Sasolburg.
Electricity pylons at an Eskom power station near Sasolburg.

Eskom is pumping at least R500‚000 a month into refuelling and maintaining vehicles driven by 115 executives at the cash-strapped power utility.

Fleet cards provided to officials from the level of general manager upwards allow them access to unlimited fuel‚ cover the cost of vehicle maintenance and pay for toll road fees‚ Business Day reported on Friday.

Eskom confirmed that 115 general managers and executives benefitted from the scheme‚ which for May had cost R596‚625. Asked if these travel perks were being reconsidered in light of the power utility’s cash constraints‚ Eskom said that employee benefits were not the only focus of its efforts to curb costs.

Details about the travel perk have emerged at a delicate time for Eskom‚ which has been locked in negotiations with unions over salary increases. The power utility faced a backlash in June after it announced that staff would not be getting an increase. Then‚ in an about turn‚ Eskom entered into wage negotiations with the unions but they have yet to reach an agreement.

Eskom workers staged a protest outside the company’s head office in Johannesburg on June 14. They were angry after management came to the negotiating table saying there would be no salary increases when‚ at the time‚ unions were demanding a 15% wage increase across the board.

The impasse led to what Eskom described as acts of “sabotage” at some of its power stations which led to load-shedding.