Cabinet has welcomed the intervention made by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in the wage negotiations dispute between the Eskom management and labour.
Last Friday, Gordhan convened a meeting with the Eskom board and management and the three labour unions -- National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Solidarity -- with the intention of getting all parties to engage on the issues around the employee salary negotiations.
Briefing the media on the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said a team has been assigned to deal with issues of wage negotiations, and they hope that all parties will appreciate the need to expedite the process and find an amicable solution towards the impasse at Eskom.
She said Gordhan will continue to update Cabinet, Presidency and National Treasury on any development that may arise.
Responding to criminal acts reported, including road blockades, attacks on staff, and wilful damage of electricity infrastructure, Mokonyane warned that nobody is entitled to destroy property, whether its organised workers or public.
“There is a law in South Africa that has been passed in line with the Criminal Procedure Act, where there is an amendment that deals with destruction of public property as an act of crime, and it is within that, that even the destruction of property in terms of what we’ve seen at Eskom, must be deemed as an act of crime.
“Nobody is entitled to destroy property… It is an act of sabotage and it is going to cost the state. In this instance, it is economic sabotage and the amendment act must actually kick in and deal with these issues,” the Minister warned.
She said several arrests have been made in connection with this.
Protests on highways
Cabinet also strongly condemned the recent blocking of several highways by protestors in some parts of the country, warning that criminal acts of aggression and disruptions will not be tolerated.
“Highways are a critical part of our transport infrastructure that supports the transportation of goods and services of the various sectors of the economy. Our constitutional democracy provides for platforms wherein people can raise their issues without causing any disruptions,” Mokonyane said.
She further called on law-enforcement officers to take the necessary steps, within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the Decommissioning and Decontamination (D&D) liabilities attached to the past Disused Strategic Nuclear Facilities (Stage 1) and current operating facilities (Stage 2) at Phelindaba site.
Currently, these liabilities reflect in the books of NECSA (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation) resulting in liabilities exceeding the assets, and project negatively on its going concern status.
Cabinet approved that the process should be taken forward in consultation with the National Treasury. – SAnews.gov.za