- David Mabuza has warned South Africans to desist from playing the race card on matters facing Eskom
- The deputy president was responding to questions at the National Council of Provinces where he said there are investigations into the leadership crisis at the embattled power utility
- Mabuza said he had been briefed on all matters concerning Eskom but will not accept racial issues as a valid excuse for the ongoing problems
Deputy President David Mabuza has warned against involving race matters pertaining to the leadership issues prevalent at Eskom.
While the hierarchical problems at the embattled power utility are well-documented, Mabuza said the politicising of them is futile. He was responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
In a direct response to a question from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on whether only black executives are suspended, pending the finalisation of investigations, Mabuza urged South Africans at large to desist from making all issues about race.
In view of Eskom's current plight, and having already been briefed on all claims, the deputy president vowed that he would get to the bottom of all corruption but reiterated there would be no focus on race.
"I will always listen to any problems that are being said but let’s desist from going a step further to put a colour into the challenge if people are suspended," said Mabuza. They are suspended because they’ve done something wrong, not just because of their colour. We must move away, otherwise, you are getting deep [into] where we are regressing as a country."
Eskom CEO excused over alleged racism
Mabuza was also questioned over Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter, who faces allegations of widespread racism. According to SABC News, De Ruyter was cleared of allegations of racism that were levelled against him earlier this month.
"I don't want to politicise and racialise the corruption that is happening at Eskom. Corruption is corruption and we must not give corruption a colour," added Mabuza.
Meanwhile, De Ruyter faces an internal investigation at the utility as well as an inquiry by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa). In response to this, Mabuza said that it might take some time before a resolution is reached.
"We are going to find, we are going to dig right down to the bottom of these allegations, but we don't want to be driven by racial tendencies," added Mabuza.
Still no light at the end of the tunnel
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter previously released a public apology for the issues faced by South Africans as a result of continuous load shedding. This is after Stage 2 loadshedding was implemented earlier in May.
Briefly News reported that reports at the time had revealed that the power utility made the situation for residents worse as unscheduled power cuts occurred in many different parts of the country.
There have also been cases of power not returning at the end of the scheduled time. De Ruyter stated that while loadshedding has been going on for over 15 years, there were a number of issues that have caused the regular power cuts. He explained that a lack of maintenance dating back to the apartheid regime is one such reason to blame this on.
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