Eskom planning to cut whites by 65%

Eskom remains committed to reduce the number of white employees, especially white engineers, as part of its plans to meet its employment equity targets. This is according to a report in the Rapport newspaper.

Two weeks ago the City Press reported that Eskom was planning to decrease the number of skilled white employees by 3,389.

According to the report Eskom would have to cut the number of white engineers and managers by 1,081, and decrease the number of white tradespeople by 2,179.

These white staff cuts are needed to comply with South Africa’s strict new provisions of the Equity Act.

Soon after this report Eskom said that it does not have a policy of retrenching employees based on race.

“Instead, a principle of natural attrition has been used when certain positions became vacant,” Eskom said in a statement on 9 March 2015.

On 18 March 2015 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa added that Eskom is racing to recruit as many skilled people as possible, regardless of their skin colour.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly, he told MPs he was not aware of so-called “backroom”, race-based retrenchments taking place at Eskom, though there had been voluntary retrenchments.

However, trade union Solidarity has now revealed that Eskom is looking to actively reducing the number of white employees.

According to Rapport, Eskom is planning to reduce the number of white engineers from 1,786 in January 2015 to 625 in March 2020 – a reduction of 65%.

The report further said that Eskom is planning to cut the number of white tradespeople from 4,487 to 2,043.

These figures emerged from a presentation by Eskom’s head advisor on transformation Richard Khumalo.

The full report is available in the Rapport newspaper from 22 March 2015.