In a clip that has been circulating since Wednesday, Eskom employees protesting against 0% salary increases appear to believe life was better for them under former CEO Brian Molefe.
Eskom employees singing “buya buya Brian Molefe thina sithwele kanzima” during their protest today. pic.twitter.com/atDwO7ImbA
— Modern Day Pantsula (@Thabiso_Dlamini) June 13, 2018
Some of these employees would clearly like him to return.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa) want a 15% increase across the board, which should be accompanied by a R2 000 housing allowance hike, the banning of labour brokers, and an end to the outsourcing of cleaners and security guards.
Another demand was for six months’ paid maternity leave and a month’s paid paternity leave.
In a statement, they said government had adopted an austerity budget that was accompanied by VAT and fuel price increases while Eskom decided to deny workers their well-deserved pay hikes.
“Eskom management and the Eskom board demonstrated that they do not care about workers or their families,” it read. They accuse Eskom of passing the consequences of poor management decisions on to ordinary staff, and also allege that the utility is trying to privatise, which Eskom denies.
In April, Molefe and his legal team were refused leave to appeal a January decision that ordered him to pay back the millions he received from a massive pension payout from the utility.
The high court ruled in January that he had resigned from Eskom and was not entitled to a pension payout and should pay back the R11 million already advanced from a R30 million pension payout initially granted to him.
Molefe left Eskom under a cloud after being implicated in a damning report on state capture by former public protector Thuli Madonsela. It alleged undue influence by personal friends of the then president, Jacob Zuma, in the running of state firms.
On January 25, the high court ruled that Molefe’s subsequent reinstatement at the power company was “at variance with the principle of legality and is invalid and false”.