A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Eskom drifting Into ‘Load Shedding’ in the board

Eskom05 April 2014, Johannesburg – NUM is extremely perturbed about the prevailing state of affairs at ESKOM. Most worrisome is a prospective drift to anarchy at this important state entity which poses a grave threat to the natural and corporate citizenry of South Africa. Our concern is guided by the following elements which are a recipe for corporate disaster:

Moribund Corporate Governance
We have noted the overwhelming decision making guided by a moribund model of leadership that has been dejected by a number of successful state and corporate business entities in the This entity has been subjected to an archaic trait of dictatorship where the only stakeholder that matters is the employer. The culture of consultation and cooperation that had been built over the years has effectively been eroded.

Essentially the entity has assumed a doing it alone and marginalizes everybody. Thus there is no consultation on primary matters that affect the livelihood of workers future and how this relates to business and the country at large. In this way Eskom is drifting away from the developmental model the ruling party had embraced where labour, business, and the state are key partners for the success of a developmental state. But the current leadership clearly treats workers as a disposable non-entity in the workplace an approach which is consistent with the old white minority racist regime and therefore deplorable.

Appointment of executives
Furthermore, part of the scourge is a manifestation of surprises wherein labour is not consulted on strategic appointments characteristic of the marginalisation of workers. For example there have been strategic appointments without labour as key partner being consulted. Thus individuals with questionable and dubious credentials are quietly drawn into the executive layer of Eskom which can only accelerate the disastrous degeneration the entity has defined itself such as failing to provide unhindered service to our society.

We are extremely worried that there are numerous vacancies which have not been filled and which would hamper the ability of the entity to discharge its duties as expected. This may ultimately justify controversial appointments and an environment of corrupt activities. As NUM we shall keep an eye on this in the interest of our country and transparency. We call on the Minister of Public enterprises to make timeous intervention to redeem the situation before things gets worse and to note that workers are an important stakeholder to this effect.

The current wage ratio continues to generate disharmony pertaining to labour relations and collective bargaining at ESKOM. We call on the entity to improvise innovatively to remedy the negative atmosphere and create an inclusive environment to promote good service to the South African people. The belligerent posture by the current executives does not assist in this regard and it would affect proper service in the long run.

Labour brokers
Worldwide labour brokers effectively trigger the deterioration of working conditions and compromise safety standards. We are not surprised that Eskom has experienced fatalities in recent times. These are the aftereffects of working through this contracted butcher system. It is ESKOM responsibility as a primary employer to ensure the safety of workers is promoted at all times without exception failing which it remains an accomplice in the occupational killings of our members.

Minimum service Agreement
In order to create a hospitable working environment, we call on the minister of public enterprises to respect the rights of workers to strike. The determination of the minimum service agreement has been unilateral and favours the employer and marginalises the workers. In this regard it is an imposition consistent with the moribund governance style we have alluded to. These developments guarantee the brutal exploitation of workers unseen before at Eskom. All the above elements present a hopeless scenario for a very strategic entity in our For this reason we call on the Minister of Public Enterprises to make the necessary intervention to remedy the adverse situation and prevent the prospect of corruption or collapse of service which would intensify black-outs.

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