Today's Labour News

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petrolpumpBL Premium reports that cash-strapped Eskom, which is embroiled in a bruising wage dispute with its unions, has been paying almost R600,000 a month for its executives to run their cars.  

Officials from the level of GM upwards are provided with "fleet cards", giving them unlimited free fuel.  Eskom also picks up the tab for their toll fees and maintenance costs.  The power utility confirmed on Thursday that 115 GMs and executives benefited from the scheme, which had cost R596,625.54 in May.  Asked if it would reconsider the transport perk given its financial difficulties, Eskom said that "employee benefits are not the only focus in our quest towards financial sustainability", and added it was looking at all drivers of costs.  Two independent sources at Eskom, claimed that Eskom managers routinely abused the perk for private travel.  "That’s why they all drive Range Rovers.  You don’t have to pay for petrol," said one.  While there was a business reason for the travel allowance, the system was open to abuse, other sources said.  Another manager at the utility said he was concerned that "Eskom wants to retrench people, but they are not going after low-hanging fruit", such as the fleet card.

  • Read this report by Stephan Hofstatter in full at BL Premium (paywall access)

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