The all from the ANC and government – also all SOE’s. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan should be investigated following remarks by Deputy President David Mabuza that he, along with the Eskom board, misled President Cyril Ramaphosa about the power utility’s load shedding debacle. This call was made by the legal think tank and lobby group Insika Economic Movement, who have called on government to probe the matter further.
After consultation with senior officials at the power utility, Ramaphosa promised South Africans that Eskom would keep the lights on until at least January 10 But this did not materialise, as load shedding resumed a week earlier. Speaking in Kimberley, Mabuza told journalists that the president had been told that there would be no load shedding during the festive season until January 10, but load shedding returned earlier than the promised date. The deputy president said this should be considered to be misleading the president. Mabuza’s comments have touched a raw nerve with Insika with the movement calling for ‘Gordhan to be dealt with’.
“We are very concerned about the state of SOE’s (state owned enterprises) in the country, not only because they have become a pit for our economy but because they have become the ground to settle political scores. We would like to register that we don’t believe that the Eskom war room is a solution to Eskom’s technical and governance challenges. We call for an investigation and divisive action to be taken against those who have lied to the president and the country,” the lobby group said.
Mabuza, who was doing a walkabout at Diamond Pavilion Mall in Kimberley ahead of the ANC’s birthday celebrations on Saturday, said he would meet with the newly appointed Eskom group chief executive, André de Ruyter, in the new week.
“From the day we went to Eskom with the president, I insisted that the problem at Eskom is maintenance of the power stations, it is very important. You can’t say there won’t be any load shedding if there’s no effective maintenance of these power generation plants. “So the problem at Eskom is maintenance. The president was misled,” said Mabuza.
Dr Sihle Sibiya, president of the Insika lobby group, said they would be meeting other organisations and stakeholders next week to discuss the crisis at Eskom. “It’s clear that something very sinister has been going on at Eskom and Gordhan must be made to account,” Sibiya said.
It took 25 years to say that?
PRAVIN GORDHAN ABOUT ESKOM “FUTURE”
On October 29 2019 minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan released details of how the government is planning to fix Eskom and turn the state-owned enterprise around. Sporadic load-shedding across South Africa has sparked outrage over the management of the electricity giant.
Nov.06 — South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa discusses the nation’s commitment to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. as he says the entity “is important to the life of our economy.” He speaks with Bloomberg’s Manus Cranny at the South African Investment summit.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has announced the dismantling of Eskom’s monopoly, which will see its distribution and transmission divisions being separated by March 31 2020.
Gordhan on Tuesday presented journalists with a much-awaited special paper outlining the government’s plan for the power utility for the next decade.
He announced that Eskom’s transmission component, responsible for carrying power to different parts of the country, would be separated and would function as a subsidiary of Eskom Holdings.
Gordhan explained that transmission and generation will happen in a context where they will be subsidiaries of the company.
There are about 6,000 people working in transmission who are responsible for carrying about 45,000km of lines to ensure electricity is distributed throughout the country.
Transmission is responsible for looking after this infrastructure [the cables] and is also a systems operator, meaning these are the people that monitor how much power is demanded at any point in time and how much power is available from the different generation sources.
It will now have a buying component which from day to day will decide how much energy it will buy from Eskom generation, from renewable sources, and from the private sector.
This is one of the concrete plans Gordhan announced. He also proposed a controversial cluster system in which South Africa’s 16 coal-fired power stations would be organised into three clusters to compete among themselves so that consumers benefit from the best price.
Gordhan said as a result of the lack of competition, South Africans did not get the most effective pricing coming out of the generation side. So the government is considering the creation of three clusters of power plants – with each cluster acting as a business and that business would be required to produce power as cost-effectively as possible, not only for consumers to get the cheapest electricity but to promote internal competition from generation facilities in different power stations.
This formula has been good for business and the consumer and has led to better efficiencies in the generating process in other parts of the world.
The plan was informed by the recently approved Integrated Resource Plan. “This is the beginning of a process, this is not the entirety of the process,” he said.
He warned that the process would not be as easy as changing a tyre or bolting on a boiler.
Gordhan would not say how the government was going to deal with Eskom’s debt burden of R450bn, saying finance minister Tito Mboweni would speak about this at his midterm budget policy statement on Wednesday.
Gordhan lamented the culture of non-payment, saying it was “unacceptable” in a democracy and that people should pay or face the consequences of not paying. “We taught you to pay taxes.”
He noted that state capture had resulted in systemic damage at Eskom. “This is not about someone who stole a few millions and ran off to an island – it’s systemic,” he said but added that state capture could not be blamed for everything.
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