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Cosatu won’t allow ANC to force it into Eskom’s disruptive IPPs

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi says it will use its influence to put pressure on the ruling party to drop the multi-billion-rand project.

Numsa and Cosatu joined a march by the National Union of Mineworkers over Eskom's agreement with Independent Power Producers, on 17 November 2018. Picture: @Numsa_Media/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Tripartite alliance partner Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it will not be forced by the African National Congress to accept independent power producers at Eskom.

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi says it will use its influence to put pressure on the ruling party to drop the multi-billion-rand project.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe failed to meet the union's Saturday to accept their memorandum outside the Union Buildings after the march against the IPP project at Eskom.

Losi says the project in its current form is ineffective.

“There’s no science of job creation in the IPPs that’s why we’re saying we want them to come back the negotiation table. Let’s relook at this IPPs issue together and find solutions.”

Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi says workers must unite against capitalism.

“It’s actually the bourgeois class that wants to work 24/7 to ensure that workers are kept divided so that they can multiply their rates of profits.”

At the same time, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have united in their call for the Eskom CEO and board to be sacked.

They are accusing Phakamani Radebe and the power utility's board of deliberately collapsing the state-owned entity and threatening workers jobs by signing contracts with independent power producers.

They made these claims at a National Union of Mineworkers led march to the Union Buildings on Saturday against the independent power producers (IPP) projects.

Rival union's Numsa and NUM are calling for the scrapping of the IPP project if they want to keep their jobs.

Numsa Secretary General Irvin Jim said, “That whole board must go. We know how you run Eskom, we know what needs to be done not to destroy a single job.”

NUM’s president Joseph Montisetsi said workers are in danger of losing their jobs if IPPs are allowed to continue.

Montisetsi said what is happening at Eskom is another form of state capture.

“This is a second state capture because when you take the private sector to come and benefit from the entity of government, what does that mean? It means that you take people from outside to line up their pockets at the expense of workers.”

The two union's say if the government fails to adhere to their demands - they will punish them at the polls next year.

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