NUM mobilises members for Eskom strike

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday formally notified Eskom of its intention to go on strike next week over wages, a union spokesperson said.

“Today [Wednesday] we started mobilising our members for the strike,” said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

The possibility of the industrial action being illegal because Eskom was an essential service “doesn’t matter”.

“We will cross that bridge when we get to it. We have already notified them of our intention to go on strike,” said Seshoka.

“They cannot tie us to a tree and then tell us we can’t do anything when abused because we cannot untie ourselves.

“We are going on strike and they cannot do anything about that.”

Seshoka said Eskom’s most recent offer was for an 8,5% wage increase and a R1 000 housing allowance.

Unions have demanded a 9% increase and a R2 500 housing allowance.

Seshoka said the NUM would have been willing to compromise on the wage increase only if management had acceded to its housing-allowance demand.

He said union leaders were busy with logistics on Wednesday to ready themselves for the strike.

Of the meeting Eskom said it was organising for Wednesday, Seshoka said: “We never planned to meet with them. Why would they organise meetings when we have rejected their offer and they have nothing new on the table?”

‘It remains illegal’
Eskom human resources director Bhabhalazi Bulunga said the parastatal had not received the strike notice by 2pm.

“Even if they notify us of the strike, it remains illegal. It’s like telling someone you are going to murder them, that doesn’t make the act legal.”

He said NUM was risking committing itself to illegal action and getting its members arrested.

“We are an essential service, and therefore the security agencies will take over and arrest anyone engaging in illegal activities,” said Bulunga.

He said Eskom was unable to meet with Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), its other unions, on Wednesday.

“We were busy with internal meetings, trying to put contingency plans in place in light of the rumours of the strike.

“Besides, they are also still consulting their members, we did not want to push them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Solidarity said on Wednesday that it will not accept Eskom’s 8% wage offer as it currently stands and has pushed through certain revisions for the power utility to consider.

“We need more time to discuss with our members. We believe there’s still room for negotiations,” said Solidarity’s general secretary Flip Buys.

Buys said there were obstacles in the way of a settlement and that these had to be addressed for negotiations to be concluded. — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday