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Eskom notes protests at the Duvha Power Station, remains willing to meet all stakeholders
Monday, 07 December 2020:  Today two groups of people numbering approximately 200 blocked the gates and access roads to the Duvha Power Station as they engaged in a protest demanding employment opportunities at the plant. The protests have had minimal impact on production at the facility. While Eskom remains willing to engage all stakeholders, it is working with the South African Police Service to ensure order, and no illegal actions will be tolerated.
 
The groups raised the issues as stipulated below:
Group 1, calling itself the Unstoppable Community Forum
The issues raised by this group are that mainly of recruitment. They have indicated unhappiness with regards to community members of Tasbet Park area not being employed at Duvha Power Station during outages.
 
Over the past 21 days Eskom had arranged two meetings with this group over the past two months, but they did not show up at the meetings to which they had agreed. Additional arrangements were made to meet this group via on line platforms, but they have declined to make use of this platform. Instead, last week on Monday 30 November this group closed the gate of Duvha by placing a bus at the gate of the Power Station.
 
Eskom power stations have an agreed process with regards to recruitment with local stakeholders, who participate in a power station stakeholder forum, including the Duvha power station. The process is as follows: Recruitment requests are sent to local stakeholders by Eskom equally for them to send list of candidates to be considered for outage work. The requests are only sent to recognized community structures.
 
Provided they follow the agreed process, Eskom is always willing to meet and to engage any legitimate community organization to be represented at the local stakeholder forum. Eskom is always willing to meet and engage with both recognized and non-recognized structures to share information and to engage, and to formalise their participation in the forums. This is what Eskom sought to achieve with the meeting with this community.
 
Group 2 – Former Beehive Employees
The second group are former employees of a company named Beehive, whose contract at the Duvha Power Station expired on 30 November 2020. A new company, Lahleni Investments, has taken over the industrial cleaning contract of the station with effect from 1 December 2020. 
 
The demand from the ex-workers is for their employment to be taken over by Lahleni Investments. The new contractor had agreed to take all the Beehive employees on Thursday 3 December after engagements with Eskom, as this is the established process. However, on Friday 4th December 2020 as some of the Beehive ex-employees were returning from medical screening, they were stopped by their former colleagues outside the power station and instructed not to start working. This is due to the apparently lower wage rate than their previous pay at Beehive.
 
As a result of the week long delays and the impact on the plant, Duvha then decided to abandon that process but  to rather mobilize the contractor (Lahleni) to get workers via the normal recruitment process agreed at Duvha (as outlined above).
 
Early this morning, former Beehive employees joined the above group (Group 1) in closing the gates of the power station. These illegal actions cannot be tolerated. All Eskom power stations provide an essential national service.
 
ENDS