It has emerged that not fewer than 30,000 South Africans are expected to lose their jobs if the Eskom plant closure happens.
This is according to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). NUM’s revelation follows Eskom plant closure plans which entail the shutting down of the Grootvlei, Kriel, Camden, Hendrina and Komati power stations over the next five years.
Indicating that all stakeholders in the coal power sector will be affected by the move, NUM charged that they will oppose the Eskom plant closure plants in the streets.
NUM stressed that it is seriously disturbed by the decision of Eskom Board and the South African Government to shut down the Power Stations.
“We view this decision as senseless, irrational and malicious. It is a decision that is only aimed at pursuing narrow and selfish business interests which are none other than neo-liberal agenda.
“The poor leadership that has been displayed by both the Eskom Board and Lyne Brown as the Minister by keeping workers and ourselves as trade Union leaders in the dark about the future of thousands of workers, leaves us with no choice but to call for the resignation of both the Minister, Lyne Brown and the entire Eskom Board led by Ben Ngubane,” NUM stated.
Afterwards, the union informed the government that the closure of the Power Stations will cost South Africa about 30,000 jobs.
That, NUM said, “is contrary to the government’s NDP objectives of fighting the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality in South Africa.
“Whilst we are mindful of the need to deal with climate change, IPPs cannot be implemented at the expense of massive job losses workers in these power stations will suffer from (and) the poverty that will confront the surrounding communities.
“We, therefore, reject this narrow agenda with the contempt it deserves,” added NUM
With the foregoing, the union called on the Acting CE of Eskom to discontinue making pronouncements about the closure of the Power Stations.
Asserting that the Acting CE is undermining the legitimate consultative structures existing in the organisation, NUM upheld that his apology about his failure to engage trade unions before making the pronouncements is unacceptable.
“…He has been continuing with this for weeks whilst understanding that trade unions have not been engaged. Workers will not rest until Eskom and Government reverse this ill-informed decision.
“We will unleash the only weapon at our disposal to resist and the prevailing intransigence will be met with equal resistance from the workers,” NUM promised.