THE SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has come out guns blazing against the introduction of independent power producers (IPPs) as part of the country’s energy mix. Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi expressed concern over the potential of job losses that would result from the “imposition of IPPs” into the national power grid.
“Saftu rejects the minister’s false narrative that IPPs will create 61000 jobs. Most existing renewable energy firms do not employ many workers compared to Eskom and do not offer the same salaries or improved working conditions,” Vavi said. Cosatu has voiced concerns over the IPPs and also claimed job losses. Vavi took issue with Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s plan to introduce the IPPs and insisted this would “further deepen the poverty levels in the country”.
“Saftu is in favour of using renewable resources such as solar, wind and water to generate electricity and reduce the reliance on coal. “But this must be done in a way that does not result in job losses. “With Radebe’s plans 40000 jobs will be lost as mines, mostly in Mpumalanga, are closed,” he said. Vavi said Saftu backed the demand of Numsa and NUM for the IPPs to be scrapped as “they threatened job security in the country”.