neneBusinessLive reports that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has dared unions at Eskom to table proposals when they meet with him on how the fiscus could foot the bill for wage increases.  

This was after the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said they would seek intervention from Nene and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan after they failed to reach a wage agreement with Eskom on Tuesday.  The finance ministry indicated that there were no official meeting requests from the unions as yet.  Nene’s office said on Wednesday that the unionists would have to attend any meeting in their capacities as both workers and taxpayers, with each role requiring a different approach.  Three weeks ago Nene told a UK television station during an investor road show that there was no money to help Eskom with the salary hikes.  

The unions were this week expected to start consultations with members to get new mandates on Eskom’s latest wage offer of 7.5% in 2018, tabled on Tuesday.  The offer also includes a 6.5% hike in 2019 and 6.25% in 2020.  Eskom told unions it was still waiting for audited financial statements in order to make proposals on bonuses, while it offered inflation-targeted housing allowance increases.

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