Deputy President David Mabuza has reiterated government’s stance that there are no plans to privatise Eskom. This as Eskom says it will move to Stage 3 load-shedding from 8 o’clock Friday morning to 10 pm.
The power utility says reduced demand for electricity and improved weather conditions have allowed it to scale back on load-shedding. However, Eskom says it will continue load-shedding into the weekend to replenish its emergency generation reserves.
Speaking virtually in Parliamentary after delaying the question session twice because of ill-health, Mabuza says, “There is no intention right from the beginning from the announcement from the president to privatise. Government is the sole shareholder. This shareholder has got no intention to privatise this public entity. We can be rest assured of that intention and that commitment.”
Implementation of load-shedding
Members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday asked Deputy President, among other things about the load-shedding, allegations of widespread corruption around the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for COVID-19 and the land reform process.
Democratic Alliance MP Benjamin Cloete asked about whether Eskom will be able to keep the lights on or not.
Mabuza stated that power outages cannot be avoided, however, the country will eventually come out of the darkness. “South Africans must be confident that we are going to get out of this problem. What I am saying it’s because there is a newly built programme that allows capacity. Medupi and Kusile will come on board and also IPPs which are expected to bring 2 000 megawatts that will stabilise the pressure,” says Mabuza.
Our Government has taken a view that #Eskom must be supported to implement a comprehensive turnaround programme, to ensure that the utility develops and enhances its requisite institutional capabilities to meet the country’s energy needs. #MabuzaQandA
— David D Mabuza (@DDMabuza) September 3, 2020
Inkatha Freedom Party MP, Mntumuhle Khawula wanted to know what action the government is taking in dealing with allegations of widespread corruption surrounding the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19.
Mabuza says crime-fighting institutions must be strengthened so that they can deal with corruption decisively.
“We need to step up the fight and the only way to step up our fight is to strengthen institutions that can weather the storm even in good time and bad time. Those institutions must stand strong and protect the country. It’s quite clear that since the advent of democracy, we have seen it growing. We need to deal with it decisively otherwise it can destroy the gains made,” says Mabuza.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mmabatho Mokause labelled various allegations against Eskom’s top executives, including racism.
“Why is the Eskom COO so powerful? Eskom’s top structures remain dominated by arrogant incapable racist white males despite talks of transformation,” says Mokause.
Mabuza says these allegations are serious and they need to be investigated.
“I think the allegations of racism that are raised by the Honourable Member are worthy to be investigated. These are serious allegations, as a country, we stand opposed to racism so we are not going to take these allegations light but with regards to the COO a report did not find anything wrong against him.”
Murder of farmers and farm workers
The Deputy President also condemned the attacks and murders of farmers and farm workers. He also said that government was assessing the productivity of all land reform farms that were given to people.
“Let me take this opportunity to condemn the killings of farmers and farm workers and further indicate that farmers are a very important resource to our country and the nation we will continue to ensure that our criminal justice system responds decisively to such criminal acts that undermine this very sector and the economy as a whole,” says Mabuza.
Mabuza also refuted allegations that the restructuring of Eskom will result in the power utility being privatised.
Deputy President David Mabuza’s Questions & Answers at the NCOP