- Eskom has been featured in the news consistently due to its many scandals and challenges in 2021
- Loadshedding, lifestyle audit results and claims of sabotage are just some of the stories written about the power utility this year
- South Africans have expressed their disappointment in Eskom, as many feel the power utility misuses their electricity money
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JOHANNESBURG - Eskom was regularly featured in the news in 2021 due to the many scandals they experienced this year. Briefly News has rounded up a few of the biggest Eskom scandals of the year.
For many years loadshedding has been one of the main issues caused by Eskom and 2021 was no exception. According to Eskom, loadshedding was often caused by different power stations breaking down.
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that he believes the issue is caused internally. De Ruyter said some of the breakdowns that have been happening at power stations seemed suspicious and an investigation has ensued. He made this claim during an online media briefing with reporters.
Sabotage claims levelled against Eskom
Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of SAFTU, accused De Ruyter of trying to push for privatisation of the utility. De Ruyter has denied Vavi's claim and called it a "wild conspiracy."
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In early November, loadshedding was increased from Stage 2 to Stage 4 and South Africans were only alerted to this change a half an hour before it took effect. De Ruyter and his employees were bombarded by questions during loadshedding.
Before the final matric exams, SAFTU demanded that Eskom suspend loadshedding until the exams are complete. Another thorn in SAFTU's side is that there was no loadshedding during the local government election, which the union sees as a sign that the ANC prioritises its own interests over those of students.
EFF's Floyd Shivambu Says CEO Andre de Ruyter is Killing Eskom
In mid-November Floyd Shivambu, the Economic Freedom Fighter's second-in-commander has took to social media to criticise De Ruyter for a few comments he made about the state of the power utility.
Shivambu found it very worrying that De Ruyter would call Eskom "a dead horse' in the wake of the troubles currently plaguing the state-owned entity. Shivambu was responding to a post that stated that De Ruyter had retracted his comment about Eskom and even apologised to Parliament for calling the power utility a "dead horse".
De Ruyter's apology was seemingly not enough for Shivambu who questioned why de Ruyter was still employed as the CEO of Eskom. Shivambu went on to say that de Ruyter's comment was not a mistake at all, adding that De Ruyter is responsible for the demise of Eskom. Shivambu also stated that the destruction of Eskom was paving the way for independent power producers(IPPS).
South Africa's reactions to Eskom's many scandals
"He says the old power stations weren't maintained but they ran without issues before he came into office, now he's got 2 newly built power stations that he can't keep running either, this man is deliberately running Eskom to the ground or he doesn't know what he's doing."
"Who do you think owns the coal?"
Stephen Edward Hutchings said:
"Corrupt employees and incompetent employees are different sides of the same coin. A judicial commission of enquiry needs to be established. Mr De. Ruyter cannot possibly fix the problem on his own."
"Well technically, Eskom is indeed a dead horse, however, it has been like that even before Andre took over. The Eskom saga is highly politicised, extract politics out of Eskom & put highly qualified individuals & good leadership."
Johan Brittz said:
"If you can't fire the corrupt staff, get me in and I will do it for you."
Eskom: 34 High risk profiles revealed in lifestyle audit
A lifestyle audit of power utility Eskom was conducted and it revealed that there are 34 high-risk cases. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that these cases have been forwarded to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
SCOPA, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, serves as a watchdog for Parliament. In response to De Ruyter, SCOPA said that they fail to understand why Eskom cannot explain their failure to adhere to budgets and why they have expenditure they cannot account for.
According to IOL, De Ruyter reported that 11 of the high-risk cases were sent to Eskom's disciplinary committee for further action. The investigation also caused seven Eskom employees to resign, which has raised suspicions.
Source: Briefly News