Some political parties call for Gordhan and Eskom CEO to resign

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Some political parties are calling for the resignation of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter.

They’re accusing government of using a lackluster approach in solving the energy crisis in the country.

South Africa has seen rolling blackouts for about two weeks as Eskom announced ongoing generation capacity shortages.

De Ruyter says he will not resign from his position at the embattled SOE despite the rolling blackouts experienced in the country and growing calls for him to step down.

He says the energy crisis that has gripped the country cannot be solved with a change in leadership. The energy crisis has ripple effects and with the country fresh off the heels of an election, political parties are presenting solutions to the problem.

DA Leader, John Steenhuisen says the solution is Independent Power Providers (IPPs).

Load shedding kills jobs, it prevents people from running their businesses and it hurts our economy and it inconveniences and it devastates the ordinary lives of South Africans. One of the things that must immediately happen is that the grid must be handed over to an independent producer. We must then waive all these silly tariffs and restrictions on private generation of electricity. We must open up the grid to IPPs and most importantly we must allow cities to be able to procure power directly from IPPs so that we can keep the lights on, the factories moving and jobs coming in across South Africa.”

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald has echoed Steenhuisen’s sentiments, calling for private producers of electricity.

Groenewald has accused the management at the public entity of failing to be truthful in its engagements with the public.

“It is quite clear that Eskom is not playing open cards with the public of South Africa and the management of Eskom as well as the Minister must tell us exactly what is the problem with Eskom so that we can be prepared, specifically businesses. The load shedding is damaging the economy and will result in job losses. It is totally unacceptable that there was enough electricity for the election and then suddenly thereafter we move to Stage 4 load shedding. Eskom and the government must allow private producers for energy immediately to produce the electricity and to become part of the system to ensure that we don’t have load shedding.”

COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“This devastating load shedding is collapsing the economy. The ANC has failed to govern this country. President Cyril Ramaphosa must fire Minister Pravin Gordhan immediately because he is the political head of the department. He must be fired and take full responsibility for what is happening in our country.”

ATM Spokesperson Sibusiso Mncwabe says there is no political will to tackle the crisis, calling for the heads of the Eskom management and Gordhan to roll.

“It’s now clear to us as a party that it might happen that some people somewhere are benefiting from these blackouts. It can’t be that in 13 years, we are unable to resolve this problem as a country with so many billions that have been given to Eskom. Nothing is happening. A new power station has been built, nothing is happening to resolve the problem. It becomes clear that there is no political will to resolve the matter. As a party, we are calling for the dismissal of the CEO, the entire board of Eskom as well as Pravin Gordhan as the Minister.”

NFP Secretary-General Canaan Mdletshe says the energy crisis has become eminent and highlights the ripple effects of the blackouts.

“Load shedding has become an eminent problem in South Africa merely because we’ve got Minister Pravin Gordhan who is failing in his duties. He has a responsibility to ensure that we’ve got enough energy to take care of us. Our kids are writing exams as we speak but they are affected by load shedding because each and every second hour, there is no electricity somewhere in South Africa. I think also it’s high time that the Eskom Board is dissolved because they have failed in their mandate to ensure that we’ve got enough electricity. We cannot continue like this when people are failing in their responsibilities.”

Political parties weigh-in on current blackouts:

During a briefing held by Eskom management, De Ruyter placed some of the blame on municipalities.

He says apart from breakdowns at power stations and liquidity challenges, blackouts have been exacerbated by municipalities who have not been implementing power cuts as required by the power utility.

Eskom says blackouts will be reduced to stage 3 from 5 o’clock tomorrow morning.