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SA utility driving gender equity

In the month of March, South African state-owned utility, Eskom, has promoted 39 women to senior management positions across various business units.

Interim group chief executive, Matshela Koko, commented on the utility’s drive for gender equity: “This promotion has been the culmination of the amazing hard work by the executive team, led by our Human Resources executive Ms Elsie Pule and with guidance from our shareholder Ministry under the Honourable Ms Lynne Brown.

“With a fine-toothed comb, over an extended period of time, we have traversed the business to identify talent who will be the future leadership of this company.” Read more…

Gender equity

Koko added:  “This is certainly not tokenism. Woman empowerment has suffered endless rhetoric, with little to no real traction. And we have taken a deliberate position to ensure real and futuristic equity.”

He noted that 62% (24 of the 39 appointments) are technical specialists in various key components of the business: “They have been placed in the following business units: technology, transmission, legal, human resources, customer service, generation, sustainability, finance group information technology, group capital and distribution.”

He stated that Eskom has earmarked them for various targeted support programmes to ensure that they exceed all the expectations imposed by their challenging roles.

“Part of the Employment Equity strategy requires that as an organisation, we don’t only chase gender equalisation, but also ensure that the appointed candidates are fully supported and enabled through the identification of targeted development programmes,” Koko said.

The initiative is tied to Oliver Tambo’s legacy, as alluded to by President Jacob Zuma in his 2017 State of the Nation Address. Read more…

Koko noted: “In the same spirit, we are prioritising the apartheid wage gap, female equity and black industrialist programme.

“This unprecedented equity injection gives us a surge from 29% to 36%, at senior management level, to end of March 2017. Our stated female equity for 2020, which was also confirmed by the President Jacob Zuma, when he addressed Eskom employees last year, is 50% at all levels. We are sufficiently galvanised to meet this target.”

Koko emphasised the “unrivalled role” Eskom plays in the wellbeing of South Africa, both in its core role of being a socio-economic enabler through provision of electricity and in restoring dignity amongst the previously marginalised citizens, Eskom highlighted in a statement.

“Our next critical phase is eradicating the apartheid wage gap. And we have made a firm commitment to our organised labour partners and our employees to address this outstanding matter over a period of three years.

We are not proud that certain employees remains trapped in the apartheid wage dispensation, a number of years into the dawn of our democracy,” concluded Koko.



Feature image: Gallery4share.com

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.