Cosatu objects to Eskom board changes

2011-06-11 08:09
Cape Town - The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to suspend appointments to the Eskom board until proper consultation has taken place.

Cosatu is a key ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), but has often expressed its displeasure or differed strongly with it.

Cabinet made the announcements of the changes to the boards of national electricity generator Eskom and armaments manufacturer Denel on Thursday.

On Friday, Gigaba said the changes were necessary to ensure that these state-owned enterprises would follow the agenda of the developmental state.

"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 NUM (National Union of Mineworkers), other trade unions within Eskom, and Cosatu itself," the union's statement read.

It went on to say that Cosatu called on Gigaba to suspend the appointments to allow for a proper process of consultation with all stakeholders.

"The same principle must be applied when making appointments to the senior positions of all parastatals and other important public bodies," Cosatu said.

It said the federation endorsed the comment by NUM general secretary Frans Baleni that: "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."

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