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Cosatu urges Ramaphosa to use Sona to endorse its proposal to bailout Eskom

The trade union federation has suggested using workers’ pension funds to bail out the cash-strapped utility.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the occasion of the presentation of credentials by Heads of Mission accredited to SA in Pretoria on 28 January 2020. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to use his State of the Nation Address (Sona) next week to endorse its proposal on bailing out Eskom.

The trade union federation has suggested using workers’ pension funds to bail out the cash-strapped utility.

The Presidency confirmed on Wednesday that Ramaphosa approved of the proposal.

Cosatu wants a special purpose vehicle to put together to include the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Development Financing Institution and Development Bank of Southern Africa to take over 50% of Eskom’s over R450 billion debt.

Although the proposal is seen as risky and controversial, it’s also receiving cautious support.

While Business Unity South Africa has welcomed the suggestion, it said any lending should not breach the mandates or affect the fiduciaries of the organisations involved.

Government, business and labour have been meeting since Wednesday to discuss this amongst other pressing issues.

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla said they hoped the proposal would be adopted and presented during the president’s Sona next week.

“This has to form part of the State of the Nation Address," he said.

Cosatu said the funds must be allocated provided there was a commitment that Eskom would not be privatised and that no jobs would be shed.

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