No logical person can refute Chris Logan’s points (“Soaring salaries have wrecked Eskom”, August 7). Yet I had to listen to Pravin Gordhan unconvincingly try to explain on the radio why he did not support the CEO of Eskom, who was trying to rein in Eskom’s labour costs in 2018.
With a well-organised plan using state security resources to protect the assets, the government could have stared down these overpaid, underworked employees. Yet he gave them a three-year 7% increase when inflation was at 4%. That cost Eskom R15bn.
Why did he do it? He had an election coming up and did not want to seem to be unkind to labour. On the radio, Gordhan said he did not want to lay off the 13,000 workers hired in the last 10 years as it would have been seen to be uncaring. Those non-workers cost Eskom R10bn a year.
Does he concern himself about the thousands of workers who will lose their jobs as Eskom implodes and the economy grinds to a halt? There are 2,000 Iscor workers, and the mines are talking about 50,000 job losses, plus the thousands of jobs that are to be lost because potential investors are not investing.
Gordhan blames state capture for all this, but won’t address how it happened and what led to it: a false economy of BEE forcing up the cost of all projects and allowing for corruption, as well as an aggressive affirmative action programme that hired the 13,000.
Now the government can’t even find a CEO or permanent chief restructuring officer prepared to work in Gordhan’s cloud-cuckoo land.