Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan blames State Capture for the current state of affairs at Eskom. He referred to a controversial contract that the power utility entered into with Gupta-linked Tegeta Coal in 2015.

Gordhan suggested that South Africans are now paying for State Capture, “You begin to feel the effects of State Capture on the one hand but also the reality that you have very old power stations that are operating. This was an institution that was one of the centres of State Capture and part of the State Capture was to ensure that we have the right minister in place, the right board, compliant management, good honest people with the right level of technical skills are either pushed aside or they are forced to leave, or victimised in some kind of way.”

Eskom says its teams are working around the clock to ensure that South Africans do not experience a dark Christmas.

At a briefing at its Megawatt Park head office north of Johannesburg, the power utility has painted a rather bleak picture of a company recovering from years of mismanagement.

Gordhan says all senior managers at Eskom have been told to cancel their leave to deal with the problems at hand.

Eskom CEO Phakamani Radebe says their objective is to end Stage Two loadshedding by next week.

Eskom CEO Phakamani Radebe.

Eskom CEO Phakamani Radebe.

“We have put R1.5 billion in our investments just to make sure that we quickly move and make sure that the results are seen immediately. We have a team of technical people that are both in Medupi and Kusile that when the problem happens, they deal with it immediately. That’s the first thing. Secondly, we looked at the long-term outages that have taken one year six months and we said what can we do, totally unplanned and they were forced on us. Two of them can be concluded by January.”\

Watch Eskom’s media briefing for more: