MINISTER GORDHAN: “The board of Eskom has a few vacancies. Within a month or so we will strengthen the board with more engineers to complement [the] current skillset. Government met with the Engineering Council of South Africa in an effort to resolve Eskom’s operational challenge and engineers volunteered their services to government. Academic institutions have also reached out to government to assist.”
At the end of March 2014, total municipal debt to Eskom was R2.6 billion.
By the end of March 2017, this debt had increased to R13.6 billion and by September 2018, it had reached a staggering R17 billion. Soweto debt, which is separate from municipal debt as it is a direct ESKOM supply area, also rose to R17-billion during the same period. This combined debt is now increasing at a billion rand a month!
DOUGLAS GIBSON: “In December 2014, President Zuma acted on the Eskom crisis. He did something which sounds strangely familiar today. He appointed his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to chair a “war-room” to deal with the Eskom electricity crisis and to ensure co-ordination between the departments of Public Enterprises, Energy, National Treasury, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Gordhan), Economic Development, Mineral Resources and Trade and Industry. Ramaphosa was advised by a six-person advisory panel comprising high-level academics, finance and business and it interacted with stakeholders such as BUS and AMEU.
Was this just window-dressing to keep the public quiet or did the war-room do anything or achieve anything? If it did, why is Eskom now on its last legs? Pravin Gordhan was a member of that same war-room and apart from that he had been the minister of Finance twice during Eskom’s long decline. How could he possibly be ignorant of what was going on? Has he not even once looked at the Eskom cashflow statement which would have shown immediately that this state-owned enterprise, once the jewel of South Africa, had been run into the ground under decades of ineptitude, corruption and appalling mismanagement?”
NUMSA: “The entire ANC leadership led by Cyril Ramaphosa are directly and collectively responsible for the mess of corruption and rot that is ravaging our country. They chose capitalism, which is a system of greed that is inherently corrupt, breeding all social ills, rejected Socialism, which advances humanity. It is the ANC’s capitalist, right-wing policies that have plunged our country, culminating in a very deep economic recession last year. This leadership of the ANC led by President Cyril Ramaphosa has no revolutionary agenda to transform the structure of South African economy in the best interests of our people. In fact, their agenda is to privatise all our SOEs, and their primary target is Eskom. Ramaphosa, during SONA, announced that Eskom will be broken up into three parts: Generation, Transmission and Distribution. He also confirmed that “non-core assets” of the SOE would be sold. This is, no matter how consistently the ANC denies it, is the privatisation of Eskom.”