The unbundling of Eskom will allow for greater participation of the private sector in the generation of energy. This is according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was answering questions in Parliament, alongside other Ministers in the Economics Cluster.

The ministers answered questions ranging from problems relating to energy supply, vandalism of rail infrastructure, as well as the protection of locals in the manufacturing sector against rising costs.

Gordhan faced questions about the unbundling of Eskom into three; which are generation, transmission, and distribution. Gordhan says the unbundling of Eskom will unblock several inefficiencies.

“Firstly it will allow for greater participation by the private sector and others in terms of generation of energy. Secondly, it will establish an independent transmission company and buying office which will be able to compare prices and decide which offer in terms of sale of electricity it will attract investment and perhaps even the distribution grid as well which is the responsibility of most municipalities in the country, although not all.”

The power utility says rolling blackouts will continue:

Meanwhile, the Minister of Economic Development Ibrahim Patel says the government is addressing the issue of localisation. He added that the government was keeping an eye on the impact that unreliable energy supply might have on the cost of doing business.

“One of the fundamental issues we have to address is both the cost and the availability of energy and Minister Gordhan has spoken to this earlier in the session of questions and finally I want to point to the labour dimension, South African workers need decent work and that means we’ve got to upgrade skills, enable productivity levels to rise and at the same time ensure that decent wages are paid. It is to try and square those many things that constitute the overall trust of policies and sector.”

On the transport front, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says there are plans in place to protect rail commuters and revive the rail system. This follows a spate of vandalism, which picked up during the national lockdown.

Mbalula says security will be deployed at trains stations and on carriages.

“From platforms, in-between stations and stations and inside the trains to safeguard commuters.  Priority will be given to high-volume corridors as well as based on the corridor recovery plan. Furthermore, in terms of the security deployment strategy, risk assessment is ongoing to determine deployment of armed guards across all our areas of operation, treat assessment includes identifying drugs and explosives inside the platforms in between stations and inside stations.”