Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
2003 - June 2009:
- ► May (7)
- ► April (10)
- ► March (9)
- ► November (15)
- ► October (15)
- ► September (8)
- ► August (13)
- ► July (14)
- ► June (20)
- ► May (30)
- ► April (29)
- ► March (30)
- ► February (37)
- ► December (34)
- ► November (41)
- ► October (38)
- ► September (41)
- ► August (42)
- ► July (60)
- ► June (60)
- ► May (81)
- ► April (63)
- ► March (78)
- ► February (90)
- ► January (80)
- ► December (91)
- ► November (73)
- ► October (51)
- ► September (54)
- ► August (49)
- ► July (62)
- ► June (57)
- ► May (93)
- ► April (68)
- ► March (74)
- ► February (80)
- ► January (95)
- ► December (124)
- ► November (96)
- ► October (117)
- ► September (120)
- ▼ Aug 15 (5)
- ► July (83)
- ► June (61)
- ► May (46)
- ► April (56)
- ► March (48)
- ► February (30)
- ► December (59)
- ► November (48)
- ► October (54)
- ► September (43)
- ► August (15)
- ► July (13)
- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
updated report with new information about dramatic loss of top skills at South Africa’s parastatal electricity supplier:
August 15 2009 – Despite the new below-inflation rate 10,5% wage-hike agreement reached yesterday, yet another electricity-crisis is looming in South Africa , warns trade union Solidarity’s deputy head Dirk Hermann.
“Solidarity has just held an opinion poll amongs our (white members) at Eskom, its top-skilled artisans, electricians and electrical engineers. And this shows that 62% of our members at Eskom do not visualise having any long-term future at the para-statal electricity provider at all.’
“The problem this poses for Eskom’s ability to continue maintaining and expanding their electricity network, is that the vast majority of these Solidarity-members represent its skilled workforce. This can lead to an even more serious skills-shortage at Eskom – at a time when the skills of these artisans are needed even more to allow the para-statal’s expansion plans,’ Hermann warned.
530-million Euro loan for boilers at new Medupi power station in Limpopo
Eskom has also just signed a 530-million Euro loan agreement with seven European banks to help buy the foreign-made components for the new R80-billion Medupi Power Station’s boilers at Ellisras/Lephalale, in Limpopo Province.
The ESKOM press release notes that the 883-hectare power station site was expropriated from the traditional Boer-cattle farm “Naauw Ontkomen”. The operational life of the station is 50 years.
“Medupi will be the first-baseload power station to come online (in 2015) since the construction of Majuba Power Station in the late eighties.” said Eskom Chief Executive, Jacob Maroga at the August 2007 groundbreaking ceremony -- adding: “This project, together with the commissioning of the new Komati, Grootvlei and Camden Power Stations, as well as the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, will enhance reliable electricity supply.” http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=4989&Revision=en/0
However – to run and maintain South Africa’s growing electricity grid, ESKOM is going to need many more skilled artisans than they have now. Thus, keeping their present workforce of top-skilled white artisans and electrical engineers happy should be a primary concern for the state-run company, Solidarity trade union warns.
The trade unions Solidarity, NUM and NUMSA on Friday reached a new 10,5 % wage-hike agreement – less than the rate of inflation -- with Eskom’s management on Friday, according to Reuters.
Solidarity sounded a warning note however, saying that the new wage-agreement ‘does not resolve the critical labour-relations problems which still exist at Eskom, namely the rift between Eskom’s management and its employees, which still remains very serious’. http://www.solidariteit.co.za
Meanwhile Reuters reports that Eskom reached an agreement with unions over pay and a housing policy on Thursday, claiming that a threatened strike was thus averted ‘that could have led to power cuts and hurt the economy.”
10.5 % salary increase backdated to July 1…
Eskom said in its statement that the new wage-agreement would be signed on Monday. Eskom also said it had agreed with the three unions on a salary increase of 10.5 percent backdated to July 1. The utility also said the parties had agreed to review the existing housing policy. However the statement issued by Solidarity today indicates that there still are many unresolved labour-problems at the South African electricity provider. http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?from=rss_&fArticleId=5124268
The National Union of Mineworkers said on its website however that it has merely SUSPENDED a planned strike against Eskom which had been set for Thursday when announcing that it had ‘agreed to the wage deal.” However Reuters claimed in its report that the NUM had ‘called off’ the strike.
Reuters has also completely ignored Solidarity’s warnings about the unhappiness of the company’s highest-skilled workers – so we thought we’d mention them to provide a more balanced view of the growing problems which are still developing at ESKOM. The latest news is that Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town has been shut down again for maintenance. Media Release - 29 May 2009 .
530-m Euro loan with 7 European banks to expand ESKOM_infastructure:
– and that ESKOM has signed a loan agreement with for 530 million Euros (approximately R6,1 billion) with 7 European banks. This loan will be used to fund part of the foreign content of the Medupi boiler contract with Hitachi Power Europe, and forms part of the Eskom ongoing funding activities for its investment in infrastructure. http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=9511
in 2007 SA had already lost 40% of their top technical personnel to affirmative action:
August 15 2009 -- “My husband Paul, who is an Electrical Engineer, whilst working in South Africa during the worst of the power cuts in 2007, researched Eskom's ability to future-proof SA's electricity supply. At that time they had already lost 40% of their top technical personnel due to Affirmative Action leading to emigration and unemployment.
“Despite senior Eskom executives having forecast the electrical energy shortfall in the early '80's -- and this was highlighted in a report around '92 -- it (this report) has been disregarded.
In 1980s, SA had surplus electricity capacity of 25%…
- “In the mid '80's, SA had a surplus electricity capacity of 25% and supplied Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well. At the time of this research 2 years ago, there was a 15% shortfall and older power plants had been forced to close down due to lack of skilled staff.”
- NUM statement: http://www.num.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=440&Itemid=72
- Reuters report: http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?from=rss_&fArticleId=5124268
- ESKOM media statements: http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Category_ID=52
- Medupi power station news release: http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=4989&Revision=en/0
- Medupi power station, Elllisras: pictures: http://www.eskom.co.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=7891