eskomBusinessLive reports that Eskom’s two largest unions have put their political differences aside in order to oppose the unbundling of the embattled state-owned power utility.  

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) met on 1 November to discuss a programme of action and are scheduled to meet again on 8 November to finalise their strategy.  The NUM and Numsa are affiliates of rival union federations Cosatu and Saftu.  However, both unions believe Eskom’s unbundling will lead to massive job losses and add to SA’s already high 29.1% unemployment rate.  President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his state of the nation address in February, announced that Eskom would be unbundled into three entities responsible for generation, transmission and distribution.  On 29 October, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan presented a special paper for Eskom’s future and announced that the government was going to forge ahead with splitting up the utility.  By March 2020, the transmission company will get its own board and CEO to drive the separation process.   NUM’s energy sector co-ordinator Paris Mashego said the unbundling would not solve Eskom’s ageing infrastructure and spiraling debt.

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