/ 10 June 2011

Unions in a huff after overhaul of Eskom’s board

Unions In A Huff After Overhaul Of Eskom's Board

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday called on Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to suspend this week’s appointments to the Eskom board to allow for consultation with unions.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that the minister of public enterprises should unilaterally make appointments to such an important public utility without consulting the main stakeholders, including [the National Union of Mineworkers] NUM, other trade unions within Eskom and Cosatu itself.

“We call on the minister to suspend the appointments to allow for a proper process of consultation with all stakeholders,” the trade union federation said.

Cosatu endorsed a statement by National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni, who said government should consult the union about matters affecting its members.

“What we are raising is a matter of principle. We have always said that ‘nothing about us without us’ will be allowed and we are drawing the line,” Baleni said.

Government announced on Thursday that the entire Eskom board, barring two members, would be replaced and that Zola Tsotsi would succeed Mpho Makwana as Eskom’s chair from next month.

The move is part of a leadership overhaul at major state utilities.

At Denel, the whole board apart from two members is about to be replaced and Transnet is expected to be next in line for changes at the top. — Sapa