Eskom to freeze bonuses, pay hikes and external vacancies

Eskom acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe. (Photo: Netwerk24)
Eskom acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe. (Photo: Netwerk24)

Cape Town – Eskom said in a statement on Thursday that any internal job transfers that take place within the power utility will not include a salary increase.

This is in tandem with remarks from Eskom’s leadership earlier this week that vacant lower positions would be frozen and that there would be a moratorium on bonuses and increases.

In the statement, Eskom said internal job advertisements are geared towards recruiting staff within the organisation for available posts across all its business units and departments.

"We use the recruitment for internal transfers and currently we are effecting them without salary increases. Internal recruitment is the only fair process to transfer employees internally between departments and divisions," said Eskom group executive for human resources Elsie Pule.

During a press briefing on Tuesday ahead of Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s budget vote, Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza insisted that in reviewing the operations and structure of Eskom, leadership is not prepared to sacrifice jobs to pay for the misdeeds of past leadership.

“We have not stated that we will be retrenching people. We have said that we are looking at our structure. Not just the staff structure but the operational structure.

"Part of our problems includes that we are top heavy, there are many things to look at. But it is wrong to say the lower ranks must pay with their jobs,” Mabuza said.

Acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe told reporters that Eskom’s position is unique as it not only has a power generation mandate, but a developmental one as well.

He said these factors were not considered by the World Bank when it concluded that the entity was overstaffed by more than 60% and that jobs may have to be shed.

“The numbers from the World Bank are informed by the previous corporate plan. The new board came in and decided that Eskom can’t be run in the usual way.

"Severe decisions must be taken and we opted to review the current corporate plan, finding that borrowing on R600bn would be trading recklessly,” said Hadebe.

Hadebe told reporters that the utility won't increase salaries, pay bonuses or fill vacancies from outside. He said Eskom is looking to avoid a conversation about depending on bailouts in the long term in order to function.

“We have to look at the business revenue stream, capital and operational spending. We have had discussions with National Treasury on our business and even if government assists us, it will not rescue us from our problems,” Hadebe said.

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