Labour unions have come out in strong opposition to power utility Eskom’s reported plan to spend R1.8 billion on performance bonuses.
The National Energy Regulator of SA (NERSA) revealed Eskom’s plan in court papers filed last week, according to a City Press report over the weekend.
NERSA is opposing Eskom’s court challenge against its decision to deduct R69 billion from Eskom’s approved revenue allocation for the current tariff period.
‘These people have no shame’
Among other arguments, NERSA insists that the bonuses, which Eskom reportedly planned to pay from last year to 2022, should not be permitted when Eskom in financially unstable.
Zwelinzima Vavi, the General-Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), has now waded into the controversy.
Speaking to The Citizen, he said, “These people have no shame. It is unbelievable that people who have been so inefficient and incompetent can still be so greedy and insensitive.”
Matthew Parks, the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (COSATU) parliamentary coordinator, said Eskom’s management team shouldn’t get a cent in bonuses.
‘We want to see them charged’
“Management should not be given a cent in bonuses because it was under their watch that Eskom has been run into the ground. We want to see them charged and fired for these things,” he said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Ghaleb Cachalia also slammed the bonuses plan, terming it as “madness” against the background of the weekend’s load shedding.
In a statement, he said, “When is this madness going to end? When are we going to stop rewarding dismal performance?
“When is SA going to be told the unvarnished truth about the mismanagement and ongoing theft that bedevils this crucial supplier of public goods to the economy and country?”
Eskom’s leadership has not yet commented on the controversy. The power utility implemented stage 2 load shedding over the weekend after a “conveyor belt fault” at the Medupi power station.
It however called it off late on Sunday after repairing the fault and replenishing water levels at pumped storage schemes as well as diesel levels.
Nevertheless, planned and unplanned unit breakdowns remained high, amounting to 13,119MW as of Monday morning.
This would have resulted in stage 4 load shedding prior to the holiday season, but demand is currently low.