City Press reports that hundreds of jobs in the renewable energy sector are set to be axed following delays by power utility Eskom in signing power purchase agreements (PPAs). Wind towers producer GRI Wind Steel SA, located in the Western Cape, has started the process of retrenching more than 200 staff members. This comes after it was embroiled in an indefinite strike, following protests by its employees over an alleged unilateral switch of work shifts and no payment for overtime work. GRI plant manager Daniel Mora said the retrenchments were as a result of Eskom’s perceived delay in signing PPAs.
The staff facing retrenchments are represented by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu). Sidwell Medupe of the Department of Trade and Industry said that the Eskom delay in signing the PPAs would hit renewable energy production investments, component manufacturing and services to the sector as well as jobs. Brenda Martin, CEO of the SA Wind Energy Association, commented that the effects of not signing the PPAs were far-ranging in terms of job losses across the value chain.
by Peter Luhanga