Eskom rejects race-based retrenchment report


File: Pay talks between the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and Eskom have reached a deadlock.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has rejected reports that it is retrenching white engineers and artisans.

Afrikaans paper Rapport reported on Sunday that the power utility has to shed thousands of jobs held by whites to comply with strict new government requirements.

The report said Eskom is forced to correctly reflect national and regional demographics in these key posts by 2020.

Eskom insists it does not have a policy to retrench workers based on race, saying it will recruit engineers and artisans without discrimination.

"Instead, a principle of natural attrition has been used when certain positions became vacant," the company said in a statement.

"Eskom has, and continues to recruit new engineers and technicians without discrimination."

The parastatal says reports that it&39;s retrenching white employees are not true, but rather based on an old document. 

"The document that is quoted is actually a discussion document complied three years ago looking at 2020 in terms of how we address the target setting on the economically active. So it’s not an official document we currently in a process of designing our equity plan with NUM and NUMSA."

Meanwhile, Dirk Hermann from Solidarity says, "Eskom must, not may or in a possible way, must have the country’s national demographics reflected on the 31st of March 2020 on every polished level in Eskom."

"And that of course has a tremendous effect on post levels specifically on the artisan’s side, the engineering side, the specialised skills and junior management. Round about 3400 white employees are actually over represented and they must get rid of them in the next five years. That’s a major issue of concern."

"At this stage we must protect skills with everything that we have in Eskom."