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Eskom’s biggest union blames CEO for load shedding

NUM continues to oppose the use of independent electricity producers.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter. Image: Moneyweb
The biggest labour group at Eskom has blamed “poor leadership” for ongoing nationwide power cuts, a discordant sign as the utility embarks on a plan to become profitable again.

The National Union of Mineworkers is “very disappointed with the performance” of Eskom chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter and the lack of a plan to prevent outages, it said Thursday in a statement. The group also continues to oppose the use of independent electricity producers, which Eskom is counting on to help increase generation.

Read: Brace for load shedding until winter

South Africa could experience power shortages through at least April, presenting another threat to an economy already hampered by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Eskom is saddled with R464 billion of debt and has been unable to provide reliable power since 2008, when outages began.

“Eskom has regularly communicated its plan to improve the performance of the power stations and to reduce load shedding,” the utility said in response to questions, using a local term for power cuts. There is “a good working relationship with its labour representatives, including the NUM,” it said.

The NUM, which represents about a third of Eskom’s more than 44 772-strong workforce, urged the government to change the leadership at Eskom. Relations between the labour union and management have been strained in the past over issues including wages.

The government-guaranteed tranche of Eskom 2028 debt yielded 4.7% by 12:40 p.m. in Johannesburg. They traded at 4.6% on January 4, the lowest since they began trading in 2018.

Read: Joburg may soon see load-shedding durations reduced

© 2021 Bloomberg


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Obviously the CEO is the only one that has the authority to make macro or critical decisions.

But the CEO inherited a state company loaded with mostly very incompetent, unqualified and very highly paid employees.

And a state company where some employees participate in tenders when they should not be allowed to do and pay attention to their work first.

Does not say much about the Union.

Notice that this union was pretty happy with Molefe and Koko when they were luminaries at Eskom

The utility has not been able to reliably provide power since 2008. When did De Ruyter start at Eskom?

The union knows on the distant horizon Eskom will be unbundled and a lot of the contribution paying members will be put out to pasture. And as @grahamcr says, while the CEO of Eskom was Molefe and Koko all was right in the land without electricity.

For sure NUM would be unhappy. Their money channels are being eliminated. NUM never said anything about corrupt leaders…

He is an annoying fellow isn’t he dear NUM?
1. He couldn’t write off R500 billion in debt that your comrades accumulated
2. He cannot replace capable and experienced staff who were fired and replaced by cadres
3. He is starting to collect debt from cadre municipalities
4. He seems to ignore his boss the ex pharmacist airline running joker still nursing his injuries after his public flogging by that nasty EFF Senior Counsel
5. He is trying hard to stop the cadre stealing
6. He doesnt give salary increases to rubbish staff of which there are many

Ag shame…poor NUM ..this isnt the way it was meant to be

OK, Moneyweb moderators, please be so kind, open and transparent to explain this.
I wrote a not very long comment below this article, stating that given the circumstances, I believe Eskom CEO AdR is doing a relatively good job, and is quite open about many things. He is also willing to open the electricity sector more than ever, and constructive in the debate about the ITSMO, the Independent Transmission System Market Operator, that has been in the pipeline for almost two decades I believe.
I added a quite direct and damning part on the less than constructive role trade unions play at Eskom, and so often in other sectors of the economy, maybe using some less diplomatic words.
So the comment was removed. But what surely baffles me that at the same time, another earlier comment was scrapped, and the more than 40 upvotes below a lengthy comment below this article were reduced to 2. I actually do not care about the number of upvotes that much, because my often different way of looking at matters do NOT even that often gather plenty of upvotes.
Repeating the over obvious, bashing the wrong doers gathers automatically loads of upvotes, but does not add anything new to the debate.
I fully understand that this allowing and moderation of comments adds an extra burden to your editorial staff, but I believe many comments make valid points, and add to the attractiveness of MW as a whole.
Sometimes even a very poorly informed, completely outdated comment can gather loads of popular support from the conservative readers. Like the one that renewables are a myth.
Sorry to say, but I believe I have become rather well informed about the energy sector and all the latest developments over the last 7 years or so.

Hi Marcel. Thank you for your feedback. Regarding your deleted comment, we’ve looked through the system and even the spam folder and cannot find it, so it may have been a technical glitch. If that is the case, our sincere apologies. If it was however deleted it was probably found to be defamatory in some way. There is a very fine line in legal terms as to what is free speech and what is defamation, and as we the publisher, the article author and you the commenter may all be found liable for any defamation in the comments section, we tend to be cautious in our moderation. We value our community’s opinions and views and the value this adds to our offering, but we also have to toe the line. Please resend your comment for consideration.

Thanks Eleanor, I made my point. I will leave out the part where I told the unions to get lost in no uncertain terms. Maybe my comment got lost somewhere. Still no explanation for the other point, but don’t bother.

The fact that NUM is unhappy with De Ruyter means he must be on the right path to turning this mess around. And independent power generation is the only thing that is likely to save the situation. There is no hope for us if we are relying on Eskom to produce all our electricity. Their monopoly IS the problem.

Just the moment we have been waiting for! The CEO must now take the National Union of Mineworkers to task by firing most of their members to reduce costs.

Where is the gupta loot in dubai
me thinks cancer do nt want to open that can of worms

Dear Num,

Pick a finger!!

Useless union!

Yes right on time – Blame the White man, The “Settler” go back to Europe as they say.

Would the NUM ever say something positive about a ‘white guy’ in Management? We are 25+ years down the line and they still want to make this political.

Moneyweb…was this article or reporting really necessary? It means absolutely nothing and won’t change anything.

Someone should buy/gift the NUM a mirror.

End of comments.





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