MPs to debate Eskom woes next week

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Members of the National Assembly will have a debate on the woes of Eskom next week in Parliament. The Democratic Alliance (DA) requested the debate over the power utility battling to keep the lights on as well as an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that Eskom will be unbundled into three independent entities.

Ramaphosa was in Parliament for his reply session to a debate on his State of the Nation Address. He announced the formation of a Special Cabinet Committee to oversee operations at Eskom and provide daily reports to him.

He also announced that the unbundling of the power utility is a step towards stemming the need for power outages and boost investor confidence.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says he is willing to meet with President Ramaphosa to discuss ways of political parties working together to create a sustainable solution to Eskom’s problems.

“I have always been open to meeting with the president; I’ve always been open to communicating solutions to him. I want to work out a plan that brings all South Africans, government, private sector, public sector that we work together to be able to stabilise SA.”

African People’s Convention (APC) leader Themba Godi says it was a mistake for President Ramaphosa to announce the unbundling of Eskom before consulting all the stakeholders including other political parties.

“Even the unbundling should not have been made public before the consultation. But if consultation is on the table then we are willing to listen. Our experience at SAA when you find that the subsidiaries within the entity have their own boards and management have created serious problems of management, so we are weary of this model of the unbundling Eskom.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says it does not think President Ramaphosa’s approach to unbundle Eskom into three independent entities is the correct solution.

IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh says the issue of Eskom can be better handled by all stakeholders including government, labour unions, civil society groups and Eskom management.

“The unbundling might be just the shifting of the beats on the chest board and it will lead to more bureaucracy we think. We really need to get to the root of solving Eskom without getting to these measures, and I think it is going to require a lot of working together with labour, government and Eskom management and see how we can get the matter of Eskom resolved. “