Solidarity: Gupta deal with Eskom is set to destroy 1 700 mining jobs

Solidarity media statement

Trade union Solidarity today said 1700 Exxaro mine employees could lose their jobs on account of government’s incessant politicking with the Gupta family.

A metal sculpture stands outside the headquarters for Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned electricity utility at Megawatt Park in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
A metal sculpture stands outside the headquarters for Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned electricity utility at Megawatt Park in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

This has followed when Eskom, after business ties over 40 years, decided to terminate its contract with Exxaro mine at the end of last year. It seems that the contract, supplying coal to Eskom’s Arnot power station, will be going to Optimum, the Guptas’ newly acquired mine.

“The fact that government is prepared to put so many workers’ income on the line just in order to strengthen its ties with the Gupta family, is regrettable. Furthermore, it is very sad to recall the earlier statement to trade unions that the Arnot power station was not connected to the Guptas,” according to Deon Reyneke, Solidarity’s Deputy General Secretary of Energy.

Read also: Glencore “pleased” with mine sale to Gupta – no comment on mining minister

Reyneke also said that, in addition, it was government dragging its feet that caused Exxaro to miss the necessary licence for further coal mining. “Government dawdled for two years over issuing a mining licence to Exxaro – who at the time would have been able to supply Eskom with coal at a much lower price.

“Unions are now involved in a process with the Exxaro management to assist the maximum number of affected workers who stand to lose their jobs because of the closing of the mine.”

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