Sun. Sep 15th, 2019

“Eskom is overstaffed” – Ramaphosa calls for labour union engagements

cyril ramaphosa eskom investorsRamaphosa was speaking to investors at the Goldman Sachs Investor Conference.

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At an investor conference in Johannesburg, President Cyril Ramaphosa told private sector dignitaries that at the centre of Eskom’s problems, is its bloated labour infrastructure.

As reported by SABC News, Ramaphosa held engagements with more than 200 business representatives from the private sector, at the Goldman Sachs Investor Conference, on Wednesday.

Cyril Ramaphosa addresses investors

The event came right after the African National Congress (ANC) reclaimed its authority at the polls, ushering an apologetic Ramaphosa back into the seat of power.

Related: President Ramaphosa: ‘The ANC has learnt its lesson’

A plea for another go at it

First on the agenda was, of course, a tone of reassurance from the president, who urged investors to allow the ANC-led government time to atone for its past errors and implement new measures to speed up economic reform in the embattled country.

“We have to embark on the reforms, speed up on them … We are going to ensure that the certainty that investors want is there,” he said.

Reassurance on Eskom frailties

He also addressed concerns around the functionality of the state parastatal, Eskom. The power utility could barely get us through the Autumn season without instituting rotational power outages.

Shortages in coal supply and the advent of maintenance issues in most of their power plants have exacerbated matters at the power utility.

Related: Load shedding: “We will assist if asked” – Eskom opens doors for Zimbabwe

Ramaphosa revealed that at the centre of its problems is the lack of proper management. He explained that the power utility’s bloated labour force was an issue that had to be addressed.

Ramaphosa wants engagements with labour unions

Expecting backlash from labour unions, the president noted that he would be in touch with workers’ unions and figure out a way to overturn things at Eskom without disruptions.

On the topic of privatisation, Ramaphosa stated that while the power utility is not going to be privatised, there is a willingness to collaborate with businesses in certain areas.

Related: Natasha Mazzone wants answers from Cyril on Eskom’s “secret diesel fund”

“We want to make our economy more attractive investors… through ensuring policy certainty and implementing the necessary reforms,” he said.

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