Cosatu: 'Eskom unbundling not a solution'

Officials from the labour federations met with Cyril Ramaphosa and cabinet members this week to discuss the matter but the talks deadlocked.

Cosatu begins its march against job losses at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg with protest songs and dancing. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG – Eskom’s many woes will loom large over the Budget speech.

As if the power utility doesn't have enough problems, Cosatu doesn't agree with the president's move to unbundle the company into three entities.

Officials from the labour federations met with Cyril Ramaphosa and cabinet members this week to discuss the matter. But the talks deadlocked.

Cosatu's Bheki Ntshalintshali says: “Many issues were raised. Whether you are unbundling Eskom or not, they still need to be raised. In our opinion, unbundling is not a solution. We heard where government is coming from and we’ll have to talk to our members.”

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Cosatu is worried about job losses resulting from the unbundling exercise.

The trade union federation's Mike Shingange says that workers are protesting against the economic crisis and job losses.

Shingange says that Cosatu is demanding an end to state capture, corruption and mismanagement.

He adds that government also needs to reflect on the devastating effect that the VAT increase has had on the poor.

Shingange says the VAT hike needs to be reversed.

“The cost of living is rising through the ceiling because of state capture.”

One protestor in the manufacturing industry says she doesn't get an increase at work and says it’s difficult to make ends meet.

“The electricity, water and food prices are going up. They give us zero increases.”

André Kriel of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union says he supports the march.

“I am concerned about our jobs, particularly for Eskom.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)