South Africa

Eskom Starts Process to Offer Managers Voluntary Exit Deals

By Bloomberg 13 February 2020
Caption
epa04592570 Eskom power lines are seen running in the southern suburbs of the countries biggest city, Johannesburg, South Africa, 29 January 2015. The country has been experiencing power outages as the national power supper,Eskom, struggles to supply enough power. EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

South Africa’s debt-stricken power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has begun a process to offer managers voluntary severance packages.

The board allocated a budget of 400 million rand ($27 million) to the plan, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. Eskom spokesman Sikonathi Mantshantsha declined to comment.

Eskom has reduced jobs as it grapples with a 450 billion-rand debt burden. Its headcount fell to 46,665 employees in 2019, about 4% lower than the previous year, but wider staff cuts have been resisted by labor unions.

Staff levels remain close to what they were when a World Bank study in 2016 found that Eskom was potentially 66% overstaffed. The workforce has grown more than 23% in the past decade as the business has become loss-making and dependent on government bailouts.

The voluntary packages will be open for managers in non-core positions and those who are 60 to 62 years old, regardless of whether they’re in core, critical or non-core positions, according to the document. Applications will start in the third week of February, with the exits planned by the end of April, subject to Eskom’s discretion, it said.

(Updates with chart, more details on staff numbers)
To contact the reporter on this story:
Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
James Herron at [email protected];
John McCorry at [email protected]
Paul Richardson, Liezel Hill

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