The ANC has proposed using state-run unemployment and compensation fund surpluses to help rescue Eskom, raising the ire of labour unions.
A pact between South Africa’s government, labour unions and business to cut Eskom’s debt won’t include a pledge to use the pensions of state workers as had been initially proposed.
Labour and business are pushing the government to find a way to utilise an unemployment fund with assets of about R180-billion to fight the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
A plan proposed by South Africa’s biggest labour group to get pension funds and state lenders to refinance part of the state power utility’s gargantuan debt faces hurdles that may be impossible to overcome.
Cosatu expects a plan that it’s proposing to save Eskom from its debt burden to be ready within weeks, said the labour federation’s parliamentary coordinator.
The leadership of the ANC called an emergency meeting to discuss the government’s plans to curb its wage bill – a move that has angered its trade union allies.
Cosatu said it won’t reach a pact with business on how to resolve the debt crisis at Eskom by the time President Cyril Ramaphosa gives his state-of-the-nation speech on Thursday.
Cosatu, the country’s biggest labour federation, said it wants the R104-billion Eskom’s debt held by the state pension fund manager to be converted into equity owned by workers.
The bold proposal by Cosatu to relieve Eskom of close to 60% of its debt using pension money may be presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa in next week’s state of the nation address.
South Africa’s largest labour federation, Cosatu, will present its proposal to rescue state power company Eskom to senior members of government and the business community on Monday.