Today’s so-called “State of the System” briefing by Eskom CEO, Tshediso Matona, was full of rhetoric but thin on substance, albeit admitting what South Africans all know: Eskom has failed to maintain our power stations with devastating effects, and is on the immediate brink of bankruptcy.
It is due to the self-confessed neglect by Eskom of its own maintenance plans, that South Africa now finds itself at the mercy of increased power cuts.
Matona has directly contradicted President Zuma, who blames Eskom’s current woes on Apartheid’s legacy, by stating that government’s policy failure and Eskom’s lax maintenance schedule are to blame for the current problems facing Eskom.
It is outrageous that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has claimed that Eskom is a glorious company when considering its financial ruin and maintenance shambles. There is no glory in doing the South African economy enormous damage, and killing jobs.
Until Eskom’s absolute monopoly over South Africa’s electricity generation and distribution is ended, the current electricity crisis will continue. If Eskom continues with business as usual the following will occur:
- Eskom will continue to come, cap in hand, to Treasury, i.e. the South African tax paying public, to request additional cash bailouts or government guarantees.
- The devastating cycle of load-shedding will continue to ruin our economy and kill jobs.
- Infrastructure will continue to age, fall into disrepair and collapse, adding more pressure to the national grid.
The introduction of independent power producers is more critical than ever and together with other sources of electricity, such as renewables, need to play a larger part in our plans. The only solution to South Africa’s energy crisis is in adding more producers to the grid, who can pick up the slack Eskom leaves as its power stations remain on the blink.
Mr Matona and Deputy President Ramaphosa must at once admit to the nation that we are in a grave energy crisis and they must begin to earnestly work on rectifying the years of neglect and dereliction of duty by Eskom.
Issued by DA