Solidarity Insists Eskom Needs More Skilled Experts

Trade union Solidarity insists that power utility Eskom needs more personnel with critical skills, including for project management, maintenance and returning generation units to service at power stations.
Solidarity says this comes as a senior executive with Eskom has denied that there is a skills shortage at Eskom, despite the utility, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Cyril Ramaphosa having acknowledged the problem.
Solidarity CE Dr Dirk Hermann says a tender document issued by Eskom earlier this year mentions a “large-scale exodus of skills”, as well as a “massive brain drain” within Eskom, especially with regard to power generation.
“The document itself also explains that simply because new appointments have been made, this does not mean the issue regarding skills has been addressed. Newly appointed employees do need so-called residence time to build up the level of competence needed to function properly in their roles, as the document itself explains,” Hermann notes.
In addition to the tender document, Gordhan also indicated in a letter to Solidarity which skills are in short supply at Eskom, he says.
Solidarity sent a list of names of 300 experts to Gordhan and Eskom that the union felt would address the skills challenges in the tender document and in Gordhan’s letter.
“Skilled people in South Africa are willing to help. The answer is on Eskom’s and the Minister’s desks. The rest of South Africa is anxiously waiting for the problem to be resolved but there are bottlenecks in Eskom.
“It is general knowledge that a skills shortage exists within Eskom – the lights are off. So for certain members of Eskom management to attack this consensus shows their denial of reality. Eskom needs experts, not deniers,” Hermann concludes.