Speaking at a media briefing at Eskom’s Megawatt Park Minister Pravin Gordhan has shed some light on the situation at the power utility as well as the way forward from the dim state of affairs currently facing the entity
Although South Africa has not suffered rolling blackouts since 2008, the same terror is looming over the country in the face of operational incompetence at Eskom.
Surrounded by senior executives Pravin Gordhan took charge of the situation and laid out the plans to revive Eskom as well as addressing some of the most pressing issues.
Briefly.co.za reported yesterday that the Public Enterprises Minister began by saying the power utility had been "one of the centres of state capture" and that this had largely contributed to the sad state of affairs alongside outdated power stations.
He went on to explain that the questionable tenure of past management structures had seen the correct procurement processes ignored. While he did not mention any names it is common knowledge that Brian Molefe had engaged with Tegeta, owned by the Guptas, in a suspect coal supply deal.
Although the coal shortage is considered the greatest problem Eskom is facing, the current load shedding is the result of poor maintenance. According to EWN, Gordhan had blamed budget constraints put in place in 2010 for the failed maintenance plan which, in turn, resulted in the current situation.
The Minister referred to the presence of internal elements within the company who he said were determined to destroy the company. While he did not mention names, an educated guess would point to the ongoing protests of employees and trade unions who had damaged the electricity grid.
“We are not sure yet whether there’s an element of undermining of the power system as well, let’s call it sabotage.” he had explained.
As for the way forward Gordhan has commited to the implementation of emergency stategies, which will minimise load shedding, in an attempt to put an end to it before Christmas. In order for this to work Eskom needs all employees to pull its weight.
In addition to cancelling the leave for all Eskom senior execs as well as plant managers, the next 10 days promise to see an intensive overview of the various stations.
“There’ll be a very intensive look over the next 10 days, that’s part of the action plan to understand exactly what the nature of the problems is, which ones are easily fixable and which ones will take some time to fix.We will need a week-by-week plan in terms of who is taking responsibility for what. And consequence management – someone must take the fall for it [prolonged load shedding].”
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