Eskom needs extra R1bn for new wage bill

Eskom will have to find an extra R1billion for its new wage bill which may result in the company freezing more than 100 positions that have been advertised.

Eskom will have to find an extra R1billion for its new wage bill which may result in the company freezing more than 100 positions that have been advertised.

Eskom's wage bill was R8billion for its 30000 employees before the 9 percent wage agreement reached with unions at the weekend. The workers will also get a R1500 housing allowance.

Most of the 111 advertised posts are for skilled professionals such as technicians, architects and engineers. These are needed as the parastatal works on expanding its power capacity and building power stations.

Eskom head of human resources Bhabhalazi Bhulunga said yesterday the advertised posts would have to be frozen.

"Somehow we will have to come up with the money.

"We will freeze advertised posts or use money accumulated from posts not filled before," Bhulunga said.

Eskom insisted it had no money last week to pay the 9percent wage hike and a R2500 housing allowance the workers were demanding and dared them to go on strike.

National Union of Mineworkers, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Solidarity had initially demanded 15percent which was reduced to 9 percent and a R5 000 housing allowance.

On Sunday Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan told the unions that Eskom could not pay more than 9percent increase and that they should sign the agreement.

Bhulunga said: "We are happy the strike has been averted and that there was no chaos. We will keeping supporting the soccer tournament and make sure lights are on."

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