Cabinet must reveal decision on Eskom – Natasha Mazzone

DA MP says country continues to be held ransom by an SOE that lurches from one crisis to another

DA to submit PAIA application to reveal the cabinet decision on Eskom

28 February 2019

South Africans must once again brace themselves for further load shedding this week. In an Eskom statement released today, Eskom “regrets that there is an increased risk of Stage 1 rotational load shedding from 2pm until 10pm today as a result of a shortage of generating capacity. The load shedding risk remains high for today and tomorrow and will continue over the weekend”.

The country continues to be held ransom by a state-owned entity that lurks from one crisis to another. Eskom has been hamstrung by deep-seated corruption, maladministration, a bloated staff compliment, mismanagement and looting. With the discovery of massive amounts of fraud and corruption in the two big coal power station projects, urgent action is required to turn this ship around.

In a cabinet meeting today, Deputy President David Mabuza briefed cabinet on a report from the Joint Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom that was established to deal with the recent electricity supply disruptions.

The DA will now submit a PAIA application in terms of the  Promotion of Access to Information Act (“PAIA”), No 2 of 2000 to obtain the cabinet decision and report on Eskom emanating from this committee. We have long held that Mabuza is not the man for the job to steer Eskom out of the dark given his chequered history.

In fact, entrusting this crisis with a former premier who plunged Mpumalanga into dysfunctionality and left it as a failed state, is an indictment on President Ramaphosa who fails to understand the gravity of this matter.

Eskom poses a risk to the sovereign credit rating with enormous government guarantees. This is even more dire than first thought, with the Chief Financial Officer of Eskom revealing that they have used R337 billion of the R350 billion guarantees and are negotiating for a further R13.6 billion.

The DA has led the charge on ways to fix Eskom over the last year, with the introduction of the Independent Systems Market Operator (ISMO) Bill or “cheaper electricity bill”. The bill seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities - a generation and transmission/distribution entity. Our offer would see the generation entity privatised in an effort to break Eskom’s monopoly on production of energy, allowing independent power producers to compete on an equal footing in the generation sector. This bill has been gazetted in parliament for public comment.

The DA will continue to fight for cheaper cleaner electricity for all South Africans.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 28 February 2019