-As power behemoth Eskom struggles to fulfill its operational mandate an antidote has been offered up
-President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the plan to split the entity into three different companies at his SONA
- However this move may have dire consequences for the nation in the battle to keep SA powered
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced the plan to save embattled Eskom from it's crisis by undergoing an unbundling process.
With the return of loadshedding this week the reason why the President had touched on the situation at the state-owned entity has become abundantly clear.
Although action needs to be taken, the proposed split could spell disaster for the country and here's why:
Trade Unions up in arms
The immediate solution to restore functionality at Eskom is to establish three separate entities under Eskom Holdings, namely - Generation, Transmission and Distribution.
While the news has been well received by political parties and experts in the field, Trade Unions have come out in firm opposition to the move.
Irvin Jim, General Secretary of NUMSA, recently had his say, claiming that this was an ill-conceived attempt to privatize the entity:
“NUMSA shall meet Cyril Ramaphosa in the street we reject this breaking up of Eskom as it is nothing but first phase to privatize Eskom. Breaking up Eskom with an open agenda to hand it over to private sector through privatization is criminal infect it is a new state capture crystallizing in front of our eyes champion by Cyril Ramaphosa it is rejected by NUMSA.”
In the past when Trade Unions had declared war on Eskom vital power generating infrastructure had been allegedly sabotaged. This had led to widespread blackouts and had served as a catalyst to the recent load shedding.
The sudden return of load shedding has been blamed on scheduled maintenance. However, just two days after the State of the Nation Address, theories are surfacing that Eskom has orchestrated disaster.
This would serve to drive home the entities claims, stating that a tariff increase is needed to remain financially and operationally viable.
The public participation process has recently concluded to the request for a 15% increase this year but will see costs increasing by at least 45% by 2022.
This places the nation in a sticky situation, should the increases not be approved load shedding looks set to be an every day occurrence, but should it be approved ordinary citizens will find themselves struggling to carry the financial burden of expensive power.
While there is no easy answer to the situation facing Eskom, the predicament has polarised the nation.
The real battle will be the fight against privatization despite Ramaphosa claiming otherwise. In the face of the fast-approaching elections this debacle has the potential to sway the polls.
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