The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) notes with concern about how the publicly-owned power utility ESKOM is being irresponsibly abused to fund extravagant and opulent parties of its senior executives and consultants.

The recent media reports in weekend newspapers and now SABC’s radio news yesterday said that ESKOM bloated R36 million on parties.

This is a serious concern and a spat on the face of the workers and the poor who are economically bleeding as a result of high electricity tariffs imposed on the poor by ESKOM in cahoots with NERSA.

NUMSA view this as a broader reflection of a growing culture and rotten obsession with crass materialism and lust for luxurious parties by those entrusted with positions of power to serve.

It is outrageous that in a country ravaged by deepening income inequalities, legitimate protests for electricity connections; grinding racialised poverty; skyrocketing cost of living and massive retrenchments in industries, those in positions of influence are irresponsibly squandering public funds.

Already steel, ferrochrome and manganese companies are shutting down their businesses, and thousands of poor workers are losing their jobs and income as a result of ESKOM’s high and exorbitant electricity tariffs.

On a daily basis a sea of workers’ cars and houses are being repossessed by capitalist-owned banks and flushing out the majority of them into the streets and left destitute.

Instead of ESKOM using the R36 million to subsidize these distressed companies in the interest of saving jobs, our millions are being wasted on luxurious parties for self-enjoyment.

As NUMSA, we strongly believe that ESKOM funds should be channelled towards development or sectors that drive job creation in line the ANC’s electoral commitments and promises of creating decent jobs.

ESKOM is not in business of Bashes or Parties, but charged with the mandate of playing a key role in the developmental goals and national agenda of our country.

We call on the Minister of Public Enterprises comrade Malusi Gigaba to move with speed with his reviewal of the corporatisation and agencyfication of state-owned entities, including ESKOM in pursuance of capitalist logic and embedded market fundamentals.

Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson – 083 627 5197


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