#028 Unbundling Eskom | Trevor Shaku

Why trade unions are worried about electricity market reforms.

In this episode, Trevor Shaku, the national spokesperson of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), talks to host Alex Lenferna about the major electricity market reforms underway in South Africa. The discussion revolves around South Africa's electricity future and the government's proposals for reforming the electricity sector, such as unbundling and the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill.

Trevor Shaku explains SAFTU's opposition to the privatisation of the electricity sector and the unbundling of Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility. He argues that privatisation will lead to higher electricity prices, making it unaffordable for the majority of South Africans, and will prioritise profit over public interest. SAFTU advocates for a 'public pathway' approach, where Eskom remains the primary producer and provider of electricity, with a focus on transitioning to renewable energy sources through a 'Green New Eskom' initiative.

Trevor highlights the risks of the government's plans, including the potential for private companies to demand guarantees and risk mitigation measures, effectively transferring risks to the government. He also criticises the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill as a legal framework for privatisation and liberalisation of the energy markets.

The discussion touches on the international context, with Trevor expressing concerns about the influence of institutions like the IMF and World Bank in pushing for privatisation and the role of the Just Energy Transition Partnerships. He emphasises the need for a global movement of trade unions to resist the privatisation of energy provision and advocate for a just transition that prioritises public ownership and workers' interests.
18 Jun English South Africa Society & Culture · Non-Profit

Other recent episodes

#027 How the Spy Bill is Shrinking Civic Space in South Africa

Unpacking the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill. The General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, also known as the Spy Bill, aims to put into action certain suggestions from a review panel regarding the State Security Agency. However, it has sparked significant worry among South African civil society groups. In this episode,…
22 Apr 40 min

#026 Owning the Renewable Means of Production

Why social ownership of renewable energy is key. In this episode, Janet Cherry (Professor of Development Studies and renowned anti-Apartheid activist) speaks to us about the exciting work she has been doing on the social ownership of renewable energy. The episode host, Alex Lenferna, speaks to Janet about the team…
15 Apr 56 min

#025 Mpumalanga is not a Sacrifice Zone!

In this episode, Cleo, an organiser with the Climate Justice Coalition (CJC), sheds light on Mpumalanga's plight - a province ravaged by coal mining and pollution. Cleo goes into detail about its impacts on local communities which include respiratory issues among children, dirty and unsafe water, women being exploited for…
12 Mar 26 min

#024 Building Red-Green Alliances

How trade unions & climate justice activists can transform the world. In this podcast episode, we speak to Ruth Ntlokotse, the president of the South African Federation of Trade Unions and a new coordinator of the Climate Justice Coalition. We speak to her about the important role that trade unions…
7 Mar 57 min

#023 Karpowerships Are No Turkish Delight

Why is there massive opposition of Karpowerships within coastal towns of South Africa? The Green Connection and a Small-Scale Fisher talk about the risks of Karpowerships. Bringing about their advocacy actions and stories relating to their journey to oppose the power ships, along with sharing the myths and reality of…
31 Oct 2023 14 min