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Eskom strike looms over pay increases

The power utility has been focused on financial sustainability and says no one in the company is receiving increases this year, as it tries to turn the company around.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Some Eskom employees could go on strike.

Trade unions, the National Union of Mines (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) will reveal on Tuesday if the one-day industrial action will go ahead.

The unions have agreed to a series of steps, including mass pickets on Thursday, to force Eskom to hike its salary increase offer of 0%. A strike will be called as a last resort. Among unions demands is a 15% pay hike.

NUM’s Livhuwani Mamburu says: “I am not allowed to say much but I can confirm we’ve met to discuss the way forward and a joint programme of action.”

The power utility has been focused on financial sustainability and says no one in the company is receiving increases this year, as it tries to turn the company around. Employees may still be eligible for bonuses, but this does not include top management.

Eskom appointed a new board of directors in January to resolve a leadership crisis. New President Cyril Ramaphosa in February appointed former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as Public Enterprises Minister, in charge of state companies, such as Eskom.

The power company was at the heart of corruption scandals surrounding ousted president Jacob Zuma and is regularly cited by ratings agencies as a threat to the country’s creditworthiness. Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.

Additional reporting by Gia Nicolaides & Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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