“Eskom has taken a preliminary decision to suspend four employees who participated in the Carte Blanche programme that was aired on 24 January 2010 pending the finalisation of their disciplinary hearings,” a statement said.
The employees were given two working days to say why they should not be fired.
The preliminary suspension is with pay.
The company would not answer further questions on the matter.
According to the Carte Blanche transcript, the company went on a recruitment drive in 2006 which included the US and UK. Eskom had apparently decided that to deal with the country’s employment equity targets, half of the new recruits must be black women.
Four foreign employees were interviewed by Carte Blanche. The four complained that after their arrival in the country they were not expected when they arrived at their offices, and their pay and benefits were not what they had expected.
One woman identified as Grace said: “They are telling me that I was hired as local. That was not my intention. If they told me this before I got the job, I wouldn’t have come. Because my intention was not to come here as a local South African, because first of all I’m not a South African and even if I want to be a South African and they won’t let me be a South African — I’m only a South African at Eskom, because Eskom wants me to be local. Not us, just Eskom.”
Another person, identified as Michelle, said: “Now I thought the purpose of you bringing people over from other areas was to infuse that knowledge from other areas to help build a better Eskom. That’s what I thought. But I’m now believing the only reason that I’m here is so that I’m counted as a BEE [black economic empowerment]number. I’m thinking, at the end of the day, that’s why I’m here — just so that we can tick the BEE box.” — Sapa