AfriForum requests further steps after Eskom’s decision on bonusses

AfriForum has welcomed Eskom’s decision not to grant bonusses and salary increases to its top management this year, as well as not to fill vacancies in this job category. The civil rights organisation has however requested that further steps be taken to stabilise the electricity giant.

Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum, says however that this announcement is far from adequate.

“The granting of excessive bonusses to top management is indeed a problem, but the suspension thereof is simply cosmetic changes in an attempt to make the public’s opinion regarding the electricity giant slightly more positive. It does however not address the core of Eskom’s problems.”

Jabu Mabuza, Chairperson of Eskom, furthermore admitted that Eskom’s staff complement must decrease by at least 30%. That is a conservative estimate, seeing as Eskom has approximately 66% too many personnel according to a 2016 study by the World Bank. The average annual salary at Eskom is estimated at approximately R750 000.

“The future saving of a few million in the remuneration of top management is thus a drop in the bucket of what can be saved if issues such as a too large workforce, corruption and maladministration can be addressed properly. Mabuza has however not announced any concrete plans to decrease the workforce,” says Brink.

According to Brink, AfriForum has also this week made a presentation at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) public session in Midrand regarding Eskom’s possible electricity tariff increase to collect R67 billion.

“Various role-players supplied proof at this event that the losses due to fraud, maladministration, surplus personnel and corruption at Eskom amount to much more than this sum. It is unacceptable that the consumer must take responsibility for these expenses every time, while Eskom simply acknowledges problems, but doesn’t want to take tough decisions to rectify the situation. As such we are making a plea to Eskom to take more big and courageous steps concerning these problems.”

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