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The only potential justification for possible retrenchments at Eskom is to accommodate independent power producers (IPPs). Retrenchment is defined as the dismissal of employees based on operational requirements. Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act defines operational requirements as economical, technological or structural needs of the company. Breaking down the three pillars of retrenchment can be a good test of whether retrenchments are justified. We cannot certainly use the economic challenges as a justification for retrenchments at Eskom. We haven’t had major economic challenges globally and locally that could lead to Eskom downscaling. It is a known fact that the South African economy is not growing, but we cannot use that as a reason to downsize Eskom. We need to project the future energy needs of the country and use that extrapolated data to make a decision on whether Eskom needs to be trimmed down. The SA economy must grow in order to meet the needs of the country’s 55-mi...

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