Today's Labour News

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eskomBloomberg reports that after a decade of unprecedented growth in staff numbers, cash-strapped Eskom is finally tackling the controversial issue of its headcount.  

The state-owned power utility employed about 47,600 people as of March last year, compared with 32,600 a decade ago.  A bloated workforce means high costs for a company struggling with cash flow.  But, Eskom is stuck in a three-way tug of war between labour, which rejects job cuts, the ANC, which wants to boost the economy, and funders, who are leery of financing Eskom because of the way it has been managed.  “We are currently rolling out a plan to manage our employee numbers to optimal levels,” Eskom said in an emailed response to questions, without detailing what that level might be.  It added:  “We have implemented numerous levers to manage employee costs ranging from not replacing all attrition, efficiently managing variable employee costs, to re-prioritising training and development.”  Management will have to scrap between 13,000 and 15,000 jobs, said Wayne Duvenage, CEO of the non-profit Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which has studied Eskom’s staffing, costs and asset valuations.  “If Eskom gets its headcount right and removes the unnecessary higher-paid positions, it should be able to cut its annual salary bill by R10bn,” he estimated.

  • Read this report by Renee Bonorchis, Paul Burkhardt and Loni Prinsloo in full at Fin24


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