NEWS & ANALYSIS

Dishonesty regarding load shedding is alarming – FF Plus

Wouter Wessels says Eskom gave SA just a few hours’ warning that load shedding is imminent

Dishonesty regarding load shedding is alarming 

16 October 2019

It is unacceptable that Eskom denied the possibility of load shedding when concerns were raised about it last month. This dishonesty regarding an extremely serious matter is alarming and one is justified in wondering just how extensive the power problem really is.

Eskom gave South Africa just a few hours’ warning that load shedding is imminent. Businesses, factories and everyone else who is dependent on electricity had no opportunity to prepare for the consequences of power outages.

The public was clearly misled about the seriousness of the problem and the people who are responsible for this deception must be held accountable for their dishonesty.

The extent of the damage done to South Africa's economy is immeasurable. Ironically enough, this comes at a time when President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to convince foreign investors that South Africa is a good and safe place to invest – this is probably the reason why Eskom was dishonest in this regard.

In the FF Plus's view, the cause of all this is a combination of a number of negative factors like poor planning, which is mainly attributable to a lack of expertise due to Affirmative Action (AA) and the fact that any kind of turn-around strategy is at the mercy of the actions and demands of trade unions.

The government is allowing the trade unions to hold it hostage and that is keeping it from implementing much-needed restructuring at Eskom.

While there may be short-lived reasons for load shedding at the moment, the underlying reason is mismanagement at Eskom brought about by the ANC's inability to govern properly. When the ANC took over, Eskom landed in quicksand of cadre deployment, insufficient maintenance and capital expenditure.

It is the government's responsibility to take control of the situation at Eskom, regardless of the opposition from trade unions. Eskom will have to be forced to compete with private power suppliers.

The power grid can truly be seen as the cement that keeps South Africa together as a county. If Eskom fails, there is a very real possibility that the South African state will soon follow in its footsteps.

Issued by Wouter Wessels, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Public Enterprises, 16 October 2019