Minister of the Presidency Mondli Gungubele tried to reassure Cosatu and Saftu members that the government had no intention of selling Eskom.

PRETORIA – Minister of the Presidency Mondli Gungubele has sought to reassure Cosatu and Saftu members that the government has no intention of selling Eskom.

On Wednesday, the country’s two largest labor federations held protests in several parts of the country over the rising cost of living.

However, in Gauteng, Saftu and Cosatu held separate demonstrations over the same demands before gathering at the Union Buildings where they were met by Gungubele.

• [IN PICTURES] National Cosatu, Saftu Work Stoppage March in Tshwane

Cosatu and Saftu said they were planning a national shutdown.

But until that happened, they managed to rally thousands of workers to put forward a series of demands, including calls for lower fuel prices and an end to any plans to privatize Eskom.

Minister Gungubele told them there was no reason to worry about Eskom’s ownership.

“The government has no plan to sell Eskom, it doesn’t exist, you won’t find it in any document on the sale of ownership of Eskom,” the minister said.

Gungubele later addressed the media and said the government was considering restructuring fuel prices while evaluating other forms of revenue generation.

The minister admitted that the constant increase in the cost of fuel has a negative impact on South African households.

He said the government was working on an intervention.

Gungubele said that while fuel prices were largely influenced by external forces, the government believes it has room to manoeuvre.

“Remember that there is a dollar-dominated structure in this structure that is out of our control, but that’s where the government, minerals and energy, consider other factors that depend on us,” the minister explained.

Gungubele did not provide details on when the process would be completed.

The call for the government to reduce fuel prices is not new.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has previously called on the government to deregulate the price of fuel, scrap the general fuel charge and amend the Road Accident Fund levy, but they have not received government support.

WATCH: ‘Ramaphosa must fall’ – Cosatu members strike over cost of living

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