South Africa’s debt-stricken power utility Eskom has begun a process to offer managers voluntary severance packages.
The board allocated a budget of R400-million to the plan, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha declined to comment.
Eskom has reduced jobs as it grapples with a R450-billion debt burden. Its headcount fell to 46 665 employees in 2019, about 4% lower than the previous year, but wider staff cuts have been resisted by labour unions.
Staff levels remain close to what they were when a World Bank study in 2016 found that Eskom was potentially 66% overstaffed. The workforce has grown more than 23% in the past decade as the business has become loss-making and dependent on government bailouts.
The voluntary packages will be open for managers in non-core positions and those who are 60-62 years old, regardless of whether they’re in core, critical or non-core positions, according to the document. Applications will start in the third week of February, with the exits planned by the end of April, subject to Eskom’s discretion, it said. — Reported by Paul Burkhardt, (c) 2020 Bloomberg LP