06/07/2018 07:29 BST | Updated 06/07/2018 08:23 BST

'Broke' Eskom Gives Senior Executives Unlimited Free Petrol

Sources say the perk is being abused, with executives driving Range Rovers because 'the petrol is free'.

Foto24 via Getty Images

Senior Eskom officials have reportedly been spending about half a million rand a month on their company cars, with unlimited free fuel, according to Business Day. Eskom also reportedly pays for their toll fees and the maintenance cost of their cars.

This comes weeks after unions embarked on a protest because Eskom offered no wage increases, citing its poor financial position.

Eskom confirmed to Business Day that the vehicle scheme, which benefits 115 general managers and executives, cost nearly R600,000 in May.

There have also been allegations that senior managers are using the scheme for private use.

A source told Business Day, "That's why they all drive Range Rovers. You don't have to pay for petrol."

ALSO READ: Unions Accuse Eskom Of Hiding Their Real Wage Offer As Negotiations Continue

Business Day also reported on Thursday that unions have turned down Eskom's final wage offer and have threatened the country with loadshedding again, by vowing to go on strike next Tuesday. The majority union at Eskom, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), resolved on Thursday that if Eskom does not agree to a 12 percent wage increase on Friday, workers will down tools, the report said.

Sources told Business Day that the workers will go on strike, even though they are essential services employees.

ALSO READ: Eskom Will Have To Trim Operational Costs To Meet Wage Increase Demands

Eskom's offer of 6.2 percent this year and 6 percent next year is reportedly its "take it or leave it" offer.

Irvin Jim of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) previously accused Eskom of being dishonest about what it could really afford to pay workers.

He told eNCA that Eskom had embarked on "horse trading", and that if it dealt with its cost drivers, as proposed in a comprehensive plan given to Eskom by the unions, a better offer could be made.

Earlier this week, Eskom denied reports that it was going to restructure its debt or retrench workers. Fin24 reported that Eskom had rubbished the reports by Bloomberg that it had to take drastic measures because of its financial position.

An Eskom statement read: "Eskom plans to raise an amount of R72-billion in the current financial year, of which 23 percent (R16.4-billion) has already been secured, and the company is at advanced stages of ensuring that the funding requirement for the current financial year is fulfilled in a timely manner."