Eskom has assured the public that there are no plans to retrench any staff members and neither has a decision to retrench any employees been taken.
This follows trade union Solidarity’s allegations that Eskom intends to retrench 500 employees, whom it alleged are “white maintenance workers,” as part of the latest Employment Equity Plan for 2023 – 2025.
“Retrenchments in South Africa are regulated by Section 189 (3) of the Labour Relations Act of 1995, with strict requirements on appropriate consultations with all the relevant stakeholders, including the recognized trade unions.
“These consultations must clearly spell out the reasons and conditions under which retrenchments can be allowed. Discrimination based on race or gender do not qualify as a criterion for retrenchment,” Eskom said in a statement.
The power utility stated that the document referred to, by Solidarity, is part of internal consultations on employment equity with trade unions, which amongst others seek to verify information for correctness, solicit inputs on targets as well as the required affirmative action measures.
“As per consultation process, all parties are afforded an opportunity to engage, clarify, suggest alternatives before final decisions are taken.
“It is rather unfortunate, opportunistic, and unprofessional for Solidarity, or any party to the confidential internal consultations, to opt to cause unnecessary panic and fear, creating sensation among our staff and in the media before allowing the internal process to make the appropriate decision,” it added.