Numsa calls for 'rolling mass action' to stop Eskom unbundling

The leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called for "rolling mass action" to stop the unbundling of Eskom, saying the state is trying to privatise the power utility by stealth and its members face "massive" jobs losses.

Numsa is one of three recognised unions at Eskom, together with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and  Solidarity.

In a 14-page statement published on Thursday after a press briefing, Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the union would be calling on workers at other trade unions and trade union federations to join the mass action. 

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address last week that Eskom would be split into three divisions. The three would still fall under an Eskom parent company. 

"Numsa has consistently warned workers and the working class of South Africa in general that the ANC has chosen the Western capitalist path of development, which is both dangerous and disastrous for our country," said  Hlubi-Majola.

She said the effects of the unbundling would be "far more detrimental than what is anticipated".

When Fin24 asked Hlubi-Majola via WhatsApp whether Numsa had submitted a strike notice to the National Economic Development and Labour Council, she referred back to the statement. 

The statement does not specify whether such a notice has been submitted. 

'Section 77' 

It does refer to using section 77 of the Labour Relations Act for the mass action. According to the amended act, this section concerns protest action to "promote or defend socio-economic interests of workers". 

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