blsa thumb medium70 98BusinessLive reports that as SA’s growth outlook threatens to stutter once again in 2019, business has called labour to task for its alleged role in holding the economy back.  

Business Leadership SA (BLSA) CEO Bonang Mohale said on Workers Day in an interview:  “Our social compact says for the sake of being globally competitive, you will forgo increases above inflation.  The single biggest risk to the economy is Eskom.  Had the unions compromised, they would not have taken salary increases or bonuses and Eskom would not have escalated load shedding from stage one to stage four.”  SA saw the return of load-shedding in November, with the most severe power cuts the country has seen.  In 2018, Eskom employees got a 7.5% wage increase, after fraught negotiations between the power utility’s board — which initially opposed any increase — and the unions.  “Labour has been allowed to run amok.  We all need to identify what we’re willing to give up to stabilise the economy and labour hasn’t done that,” BLSA COO Busisiwe Mavuso opined, while rejecting that unbundling amounted to privatisation.  But union federation Cosatu hit back at business for using labour as a scapegoat.  Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla indicated that they were “not opposed to the idea” of unbundling Eskom, but when they sought clarity, the government could not explain how it would be carried out.

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