Eskom has approved a plan to cut jobs at a management level in a bid to further save on costs at the group.
The power utility said that despite efforts to curb expenditure, its operating costs have continued to increase dramatically while output has remained largely unchanged.
“As a result, Eskom’s Board of Directors has decided to review the company’s organisational design to enhance operational and cost efficiencies. As such, Eskom’s Board has approved a Section 189 process for its executive structure [F-Bands],” it said.
The group stressed that only members of the executive structure will be impacted, and that the relevant stakeholders will be informed as appropriate.
Eskom is trying to save as much money as it can amid severe liquidity issues that are putting the entire South African fiscus in jeopardy.
The group has R399 billion ($27 billion) in total debt, costing it $2 billion in interest payments last year. Meanwhile, the utility has found around $1.5 billion in irregular expenditures, mostly involving procurement.
It was reported earlier in the year that the group was looking to cut about 7,000 of its bloated 48,000 workforce, but was forced to back down on that suggestion as political parties and unions threatened backlash.
Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza is on record saying that Eskom has “33% more people than was necessary”, echoing analysts and energy experts who say the group is grossly overstaffed.
Energy expert Ted Blom, said that Eskom is overstaffed by as many as 30,000 employees, with the utility only needing 14,000 to operate, while currently employing close to 48,000 people. The 30,000 Eskom workers are also four times over-paid compared to global averages, he said.
“If we get everything cleaned up at Eskom like we should, we could sacrifice 30,000 jobs at Eskom and create three million more,” Blom said.