2008: S.Africa: Proof of White Skills: Eskom employs TWICE as many engineers as in 1994
Original Post Date: 2008-03-07 Time: 00:00:00 Posted By: Jan
[Lookee here! They’ve doubled the number of engineers, and now they can’t run an electricity company!
Ignore the complete garbage emanating from Erwin’s mouth trying to divert blame. Eskom’s problems are DUE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, if not blatant racism where they just chucked the Whites out in droves. Jan]
By Deon de Lange
Contrary to the popular belief that Eskom has haemorrhaged engineers over the past 14 years, the public electricity utility employs more than twice the number of engineers it did in 1994.
This despite paying out nearly R200-million in severance packages to staff since 2001 for the sake of “business efficiency” and “employment equity”.
Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin revealed on Tuesday that Eskom employs 1&nbs;568 engineers compared with only 735 in 1994, but that the number of artisans had dropped from 3 811 in 1994 to 2 705 in 2007.
‘The issue of skills has been identified as a key challenge by Eskom’
Over the same period, the number of technicians had increased only slightly from 2 138 to 2 885, the minister conceded in response to a written parliamentary question from the DA.
“Eskom’s policy ensured that separation packages were not extended to scarce or critical skills categories like engineers, technicians and artisans,” he said.
Erwin again rejected suggestions that Eskom’s transformation policy may be partly to blame for the present crisis, citing “coal quality and quantity, maintenance scheduling and the price of electricity” instead.
“The issue of skills has been identified as a key challenge by Eskom,” he said.
Eskom is advertising 848 positions in core, critical and scarce skills categories.
Erwin also noted that there are more than 5 000 students in different stages in the training pipeline and that major projects such as the construction of new power stations are contracted as turnkey projects “to ensure that winning bidders bring in additional skills”.
Asked about progress on the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) units, Erwin said the draft environmental scoping report was recently published for public comment.
A final report taking public comments into account will soon be submitted to the National and Provincial (Northern, Western and Eastern Cape) Environmental Authorities.
“The plan is to order 14 units,” said Erwin.
DA public enterprises spokesperson Manie van Dyk threatened on Tuesday to introduce a parliamentary motion calling for Erwin’s salary to be reduced: “In the absence of President Mbeki holding Minister Erwin to account for the crisis by removing him from office, the taxpayer is left to pay the salary of this grossly incompetent and underperforming minister.
“Given that this is not a burden the taxpayer should be made to bear, we are calling for Minister Erwin’s salary to be reduced to one cent per annum,” Van Dyk said.