Eskom says it needs to look for R1bn to fund new wage deal with workers

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Eskom says it needs to look for R1bn to fund new wage deal with workers

Unions and the company’s management signed a new agreement on Tuesday following weeks of tense negotiations.

Union leaders and Eskom at the signing of the new deal on 5 July 2022. Picture: Theto Mahlakoana/Eyewitness News
  • Eskom
  • Solidarity
  • National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Numsa
  • National Union of Mineworkers NUM
  • Wage deal

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom said that it needed to go back to the drawing board to look for the R1 billion that would fund the new wage deal with workers.

Unions and the company’s management signed a new agreement on Tuesday following weeks of tense negotiations.

However, as the power utility struggles with debt costing over R400 billion amid infrastructure challenges, the money won’t come by easy.

Workers may be breathing a sigh of relief after clinching a deal that guarantees them 7%increases and R400 more in housing allowance but the stress has just begun for Eskom.

“These were very prolonged engagements. They were not easy ones. I must put it on record that the offer that we signed today, we actually don’t afford as an organisation. We need to make plans to find additional money to fund this agreement,” said the power utility’s Elsie Pule.

The unions were not too happy either.

The National Union of Mineworkers’ William Mabapa said that they’d also had to make compromises.

“If you look at our demands and you look at this agreement, if you are a person that appreciates, you would have appreciated that we had to come to a time when we cut the demands that our members demanded. Those are the demands that Eskom has not serviced for two years,” Mabapa said.

Workers had made initial demands of 15% and most recently proposed that Eskom pays them R15,000 once-off cash gratuity.

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