'hogan wants to privatise eskom'

THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has accused Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan of subtly trying to privatise Eskom.

THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has accused Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan of subtly trying to privatise Eskom.

"This was what she said when she was hired for the job, and then she was compelled to retreat from a policy that simply has not worked," Numsa spokesperson Castro Ngobese said yesterday.

Numsa was not pleased with Hogan's utterances that "we are not selling off, but getting equity partners. At the same time we need independent power producers".

Departmental spokesperson Ayanda Shezi yesterday said Hogan was willing to meet the unions to clarify her statement.

Ngobese said: "There are clear indications that the Zuma administration is privatising Eskom despite failed intentions of the previous administration under Thabo Mbeki."

Ngobese said Hogan was "covertly implementing Gear interventions in terms of which national assets such as Eskom are handed to profiteers on a silver platter".

"The World Bank is attempting to build privatisation into its proposed $4billion (about R31billion) loan to Eskom, which Numsa formally opposes," he said.

Ngobese said Hogan should consider assembling a team of experts to investigate the crisis at Eskom.

"The team, to be assembled in consultation with trade unions and civil society, should investigate the forces behind the huge tariff hikes, the procurement practices and the role of consultants," Ngobese said.

"As Numsa, we are prepared to go to the streets to oppose any clandestine, for-profit privatisation of Eskom."

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