The retrenchment of some senior executives at Eskom last month is a small first step towards reducing the organisation’s bloated personnel. While the symbolic importance of starting at the top cannot be overstated, it could not have been the most difficult project — senior executives will not be as militant as their underlings. The real struggle for the utility’s management will come when it tackles the lower levels of the workforce, where overstaffing is the worst. Eskom employees have in the past shown they will stop at nothing to hold onto their jobs. They think little of sabotaging the whole country by destroying electricity infrastructure to get their way. It works in their favour, of course, that in SA few people are ever held accountable for any crime, including treason. The next step should be to shrink the E-band management, a category that numbers about 300 general managers and senior general managers. It could be argued that this level should lose about one third of its p...

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