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Numsa hits out at Gordhan over talk about unbundling Eskom

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has hit out proposals to unbundle Eskom, reiterating it will resist all attempts to either break up the struggling power utility or privatize it.

Numsa is one of the three recognized trade unions in Eskom, together with the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity.

In a statement on Thursday Numsa General Secretary Irwin Jim said the union was not consulted for its views on unbundling Eskom.

He was responding to remarks made by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan at a business discussion with Business Unity South Africa earlier in the week.

At the event, Gordhan said the government would debate the unbundling of Eskom "soon".

This idea of ​​unbundling Eskom has been proposed by energy experts like Chris Yelland and the Organization Undoing Tax Abuse as part of a broader strategy to fix the debt-laden power utility. The idea generally involves breaking Eskom up into separate electricity generation and electricity transmission entities.

In July 2018, ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile told the Cape Town press club Eskom could be broken up in three entities: production, transmission and distribution.

Jim on Thursday criticized Gordhan for not engaging work on the future of Eskom.

"We are the most important stakeholder in Eskom because we represent workers and nothing has been communicated to us about the future of SOE," he said.

"Our members read these reports and they are understandably alarmed because there have been no consultations with labor on Eskom's future. They have every reason to be worried because Eskom has recently embarked on retrenchments of senior managers in December, without informing or consulting union."

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