Samwu blasts Gordhan over ‘proposed’ Eskom privatisation

Samwu head offices in the Joburg CBD.

Samwu general secretary, Simon Mathe said, if indeed the media reports are correct, they commend Eskom CEO Brian Molefe for having rejected such a proposal, but remain concerned that he does not think that it is an opportune time to sell and a good price would not be received was an indication that he, too, is considering the sale.
“We have, for a long time, held the finance minister in high regard, especially when he was Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). His latest move has, however, become worrying for us as we are now convinced that the minister is not acting in the interest of the working class, but that of his seemingly newly-found capitalist friends,” Mathe said.
The union urged the government to reject policies such as privation which are advanced by “international financial organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monitory Fund”.
Mathe said, “We all know that such institutions have no interest in developing nations… but that of their capitalist friends who continue to own and control such institutions. The privatisation of Eskom, be it partial or whole, would be catastrophic to the country. Consumers would be the worst affected, as the main aim of any capitalist institution is the maximisation of profits.”
He said the union was convinced that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would not be able to keep a capitalist Eskom in check – given the highly unaffordable increases which have been granted to Eskom in the past years.
The union, an affiliate to Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and an African National Congress (ANC) ally, also stated that they were disappointed that during the ANC national executive council, the minister proposed a cut on government social expenditure which includes health, education and social grants.
“This is the same minister who introduced austerity measures for his fellow cabinet colleagues during his past tenure as the minister of finance, yet such has not been abided to. We, therefore, propose that the minister should reconsider his recommendations, including salary freezes and a salary cut for political office bearers, as they are unnecessarily overpaid while the people who are in the forefront of service delivery are overlooked,” Mathe said.
This is a developing story.


Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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