Call for PIC to use profits to invest in Eskom
COSATU in KwaZulu-Natal said profits made by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) through its investments in domestic businesses and those abroad should be used to invest in Eskom instead of using workers’ pension funds.
The trade union’s provincial secretary, Edwin Mkhize, said they wanted Eskom to remain under state control and money stolen from the energy supplier should be recovered by the government.
“There’s a list of companies in which the PIC has invested which are of no benefit to the workers, some of them are overseas companies. The money that must be invested in Eskom should not be the money that is supposed to go to workers when they retire, but instead use the profit that has been accrued by the PIC,” Mkhize said.
He said they wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to be clear on how the government intended to resolve the problems plaguing underperforming state-owned entities (SOEs) such as Eskom and SAA.
Cosatu provincial chairperson Skhumbuzo Mdlalose said that the government should also explore other options to aid Eskom instead of borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Cosatu has grasped the reality that Eskom is challenged in terms of its administrative arms with corruption and mismanagement. Those are internal challenges that Cosatu has actually looked into.
“Why doesn’t the government explore other avenues other than going to the IMF because once you go to the IMF, you must kiss Eskom goodbye. That is a reality that we are currently talking about in Greece. When they had problems they ran to the IMF and today they are heavily indebted towards the IMF, they cannot independently advance their own economic interests as a country,” Mdlalose said.
He said with Eskom already owing the PIC in the region of R200 billion, this debt should be part of the investment by the PIC into Eskom. Mdlalose also said another option would be to approach the African Development Bank and other sources to pay what Eskom owes.
“We are exploring avenues here, we are not going to the mountain and then throwing stones and then coming up with solutions. Something has got to be done because workers must invest in Eskom, workers must have control in Eskom as we have already said that workers must have control in the PIC as part of the board,” he said.
He said that pumping PIC profits into Eskom would not amount to a bailout, but would be an investment because they wanted workers to have a stake in Eskom in order to determine the direction the power utility takes.
Mdlalose said that the collapse of Eskom would lead to the collapse of industries and all sectors of the economy.