Big setback for nuclear build plans’ if Necsa sheds 250 (25 April 2012)
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union says 250 employees will be retrenched at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation
Published: 2012/04/25 07:03:55 AM
THE South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is retrenching 250 employees, accelerating the loss of skills as SA plans a huge nuclear build programme, says a union statement.
The government intends generating an additional 9600MW of electricity from nuclear power stations that could cost more than R300bn. One of the main concerns about the project is the availability of scarce skills.
The corporation has 2179 employees, according to its 2011 annual report. The retrenchments will account for 11% of its staff.
Yesterday, Necsa refused to confirm the skills levels of employees being retrenched.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said 250 employees would be retrenched, resulting in annual savings of R75m.
"If allowed to proceed, this will make redundant a number of young professionals who are likely to play a key role in the roll-out of the … (nuclear) build programmes," Nehawu said yesterday. "This comes at a time when government is preparing to spend more than R300bn to build … nuclear power reactors."
Necsa spokeswoman Chantal Janneker said "austerity measures" had been introduced to deal with financial constraints facing the agency, "owing to a combination of a reducing government grant trend over successive budget cycles, and more challenging market conditions for its commercial subsidi aries".
About 24% of Necsa’s income is from government grants, with 67% coming from sales and other income. Income for last year was R1,67bn. Salaries account for 26% of expenditure, or R432m.
"The overall salary bill has to be reduced by R100m if the corporation is to remain financially viable," Ms Janneker said.
Nehawu said it "rubbished" the reasons given by the corporation for its financial crisis.
Nehawu also took a swipe at Necsa’s executive pay. "In 2010, the CEO earned R2,66m, including a R619000 bonus, while the lowest paid Necsa employee received R58000 a year."
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