Having endured enough of Eskom’s dysfunction, South Africans have joined in on the discussions about the future of the country’s power utility, Eskom, and shared their views on the potential privatisation of the enterprise on social media.
Eskom has been operating as a state enterprise and over the past decade has seen tremendous failures due to mismanagement and corruption. In his State of the Nation Address earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced big plans for Eskom’s future.
Ramaphosa wants to unbundle the utility so that it functions in three distinct units. This makes it easier to isolate issues and fix one unit when issues arise. The three distinct units would still fall under Eskom Holdings and would be subsidized by government, Briefly.co.za found.
After Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader, Julius Malema’s ambiguously but sternly asserted that privatisation of the enterprise has already been happening, South Africans took to social media to share their views on privatisation.
Three reasons not to privatise Eskom
In short there are three reasons not to privatise Eskom and all are related and none are guarenteed: political power, job security and cost to consumer.
Mduduzi Skhosana expressed his view that if power is privatised, monopolising companies could cut poor people unable to pay for power off the grid. Social reforms that regulate poor communities access to power may be compromised. Additionally jobs could be lost.
In resposne to the argument of rentrenchment, a user responded saying that job lossess are unavoidable int he industry.
Another user pointed out that what Mzansi should really be tlking about is how power is regulated.
Others argued that electircity comes from the country’s natural resources (fossil fuels currently) and is a basic right and should thus be in government control.
In contrast some users argued for the utility’s privatisation, arguing that the company needs capital desparately. They added that the only counterargument for privatisation is job security and cost to consumer which can e regulated by implementing policy.
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