7 November 2018

South Africa: Num to March Against Ipps, Retrenchments and the Privatization of Eskom

press release

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is gearing itself up for an inter-sectorial march to be staged at the Unions Building in Pretoria next week on the 17th of November 2018. We call upon all workers organised in the mining, energy and construction sectors, community members, truck associations, our sister unions in Cosatu, the ANC alliance partners to prepare themselves so that they can join us on the 17th November 2018 to peacefully march in a protest against the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the privatisation of Eskom through backdoors.

The NUM demands are as follows:

We call on the government to refrain from biting the hand that feeds the state. Scrap the Power Purchase Agreement that favours private capital at the expense of Eskom the people's parastatal.

Government and IPPs praise singers must stop misleading the public about million jobs created by IPPs. The job-years theory is blue lies aimed at fooling our people.

We demand that Eskom should remain under the ownership of the State, responsible for generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

Review the way Eskom Board is appointed. Terminate all upper or underhand activities of interference with the management of Eskom. As a public utility in terms of the Conversion Act of 2000 Eskom Management must compete with their counterparts in the market in the country and the world at large without government assistance. Similarly to Chinese State Owned Companies.

The Board must be reflective of all sectors of the society that benefits from Eskom, inclusive of trade unions and the society.

Terminate the current Eskom Business Model that promotes corruption and maladministration of the company. Eskom Management must openly and honestly consult with the NUM.

Government, the coal mining industry, and Eskom must invest in Clean Coal Technologies.

Furthermore, as the NUM, we fully support statement released by our regional office in Highveld which questions the motive behind the so-called Greenpeace Africa. Greenpeace Africa released a report that identified Mpumalanga as the world's largest air pollution hotspot across six continents. We reiterate that their statement is reckless and impetuous and it is a clear campaign by Greenpeace Africa that the government should close Power Stations and Coal Mines in Mpumalanga. If the power stations and mines are shut down, the economy of this country will completely collapse and the people will be left in serious poverty.

The so-called Greenpeace Africa must come out in public and explain whose interests are they serving.

The NUM will on the day of the march, expect both the offices of the State President, that of the Minister of Energy and that of the Public Enterprises Minister to receive the memorandum.

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