Solidarity offers help to address skill shortages at Eskom

Dirk Hermann, COO of the Solidarity trade union, 19 April 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

‘Eskom cannot afford the loss of a single skilled member of staff,’ says chief executive Dirk Hermann.

Trade union Solidarity announced on Friday that they had offered to help address skill shortages and called for a commission of inquiry into the crisis at state-owned power utility Eskom.

Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said the best investment that could be made in Eskom right now was an investment in top skills, even if it was only for the interim to ease Eskom out of its crisis.

“Trade union Solidarity today launched a skills bank on its website where engineers and technicians can register so their skills can be re-recruited to help alleviate the crisis at Eskom,” Hermann said.

“Eskom cannot afford the loss of a single skilled member of staff. If technical staff are now unsure about their jobs, they will leave for safer companies, nationally and internationally, where major shortages of skilled staff are experienced.”

The union said they planned to propagate the skills bank widely among its members, former members, and their networks.

This comes after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said Eskom needed to augment its engineering skills urgently as the high-level task team appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa had found that 40% of technical breakdowns were due to the “human factor”.

Gordhan said the services of competent former Eskom employees, locally and abroad, should be used to help alleviate Eskom’s skills shortages.

Hermann called on Ramaphosa to appoint a commission of inquiry under the chairmanship of a judge to investigate the crisis, mismanagement, and corrupt activities at Eskom.

“The commission’s terms of reference must be such that the findings could be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution,” Hermann said.

– African News Agency

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