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Eskom CEO tries to allay fears of job losses in internal staff memo

Apr 16 2019 10:53
Lameez Omarjee

"Will I still have a job in this turnaround of Eskom?"

That's the question Eskom Group CEO Phakamani Hadebe hears most often.

In an internal memo addressed to "Eskom Guardians" - a term that Hadebe seemingly uses to address staff - which was circulated on Monday, Hadebe responded to concerns about job security.

"One of the questions that I hear being asked most often, is: ‘Will I still have a job in this turnaround of Eskom?’," the memo from Hadebe read.

Hadebe explained that the process of reducing the headcount will provide staff with options.

"So let me assure you that, even though reducing our headcount is part of the journey of building a more sustainable organisation, the options that Eskom has put on the table to assist in headcount management include natural attrition, early retirement and we are also considering the possibility of offering voluntary separation packages," he said in the memo.

Eskom Employees and Corruption

Hadebe also spoke out against corruption at the organisation, which seemingly has been enabled by some of Eskom's staff.

"What’s worrying and a matter of grave concern is that these companies could not be involved in corrupt dealings with Eskom, without the active enablement and support from some of our own Eskom Guardians," he said.

He also addressed the "disconnect" some of Eskom's employees may be experiencing given the organisational challenges.

"As leaders, we need to keep our employees and teams motivated and actively work towards building a culture that we need to heal and to thrive."

Hadebe said Eskom is also launching a survey to allow staff to share views on various aspects of Eskom's engagement with employees.

Load shedding fears

In the memo Hadebe also gave an update on steps being taken to address load shedding. He reiterated previous public statements that Eskom had set aside R49bn for maintenance of failing power plants.

"This amount extends beyond Generation and will include maintenance in Distribution and Transmission.

"An additional R9.5bn has been set aside for Medupi and Kusile to ensure that these New Build power stations are viable and can start contributing additional megawatts to the grid," he said.

At a briefing earlier in April, Hadebe, board chairperson Jabu Mabuza and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefed the media on the status of the electricity system. Eskom expects to implement Stage 1 load shedding through the winter months.

He concluded the memo by emphasising the role Eskom plays in the country, and the importance of the power utility's employees.

"South Africa needs a viable and sustainable Eskom and you can help us achieve this. You are the engine room of this great institution, and you can turn our situation around," he said.

"We need you and we rely on you…and South Africa relies on all of us pulling together as a team! I believe in you and know we are going to get this right!"

eskom  |  phakamani hadebe  |  labour  |  load shedding  |  employment
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