NUM calls for halt of Eskom unbundling, JET to ensure fairness

2nd October 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for a delay in the implementation of the just energy transition (JET) until such time that all stakeholders are convinced that such a move will be fair and just to workers and communities.

The union also demands that the unbundling process of Eskom be put on hold pending "proper consultation".

According to the NUM, delegates at the Just Energy Transition Summit, which was held on September 19 and 20, in Kempton Park, agreed that the energy transition must be put on hold until all are convinced of its fairness, as well as the Eskom unbundling.

Among the delegates attending the summit were leaders from the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Federation of Trade Unions and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

The NUM acknowledges that climate change is a serious threat that impacts various aspects of people’s lives, which therefore necessitates a transition to low-emission energy; however, it demands that such a transition be fair and just to the working class, as it is not fair or just at the moment.

The union believes the rapid pace of the energy transition could exacerbate South Africa’s existing developmental challenges such as unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Particularly, the NUM is concerned that 25 000 direct jobs and 26 000 indirect jobs will be lost as a result of the current speed applied in this energy transition process.

In terms of the Eskom unbundling, the NUM says there is a clear lack of consultation with organised labour regarding the process, as well as the process to decommission the Komati power station.

“The decision to unbundle Eskom does not take into consideration Eskom’s core mandate of providing electricity in an efficient and sustainable manner to South Africans. In all these processes, including the just energy transition, most funds will come in the form of loans rather than investments. It is therefore not free money and has to be repaid in foreign currencies by the South African government,” the NUM concludes.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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