Solidarity, a trade union, claims that Eskom retrench white workers, 500 white male employees, mostly those who do maintenance work. All that will be done between now and in the next two years. According to the union, this is part of Eskom’s Employment Equity (EE) Plan for 2023 to 2025. The union’s legal team has sent a letter to Eskom asking for a halt on race-based appointments at the company in order to deal with the power crisis.
Solidarity has stated that, due to Loadshedding, there is an urgent need in South Africa to use the best skills available for jobs, regardless of race. They said that there are both capable black and white workers at Eskom and in the industry.
The union believes that Eskom should recruit workers based on their ability to help solve the power crisis, not the colour of their skin. The CEO of Solidarity, Dirk Hermann, said that the EE plan does not show how Eskom will address its skills challenges, but instead focuses on skin colour at various job levels. He added that these race targets are unnecessary, as the main issue Eskom should focus on is power, not race. South Africans need power for their homes and businesses, not race targets.
If Eskom retrench white workers, will young black South African get jobs?
It is not clear whether retrenching white employees at Eskom would result in more job opportunities for young black people in South Africa. The union Solidarity argues that the company should focus on recruiting workers based on their ability to help solve the power crisis, regardless of their race. It is possible that if Eskom were to focus on recruiting workers based on their skills and qualifications, rather than their race, young people with the necessary qualifications and skills could be given job opportunities.
However, it’s important to note that retrenchment is not a solution to youth unemployment n South Africa. Rather, the government and private sector need to work together to create more job opportunities for young people.
How can load shedding be better addressed?
If this proposed dismissal of 500 white male employees by Eskom succeed, would directly impact the issue of load shedding in South Africa. The trade union Solidarity is claiming that the dismissals are part of Eskom’s Employment Equity (EE) Plan for 2023 to 2025 and that the company should instead focus on recruiting workers based on their ability to help solve the power crisis, regardless of their race.
The company’s focus should be to provide power to homes and businesses, not on race targets. Load shedding is caused by a variety of factors including insufficient power generation capacity, aging infrastructure, and maintenance issues. To address load shedding, a comprehensive plan that addresses these factors and improves the overall efficiency of the power generation and distribution system is needed.