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Power crisis: time for Eskom to play open cards, says DA

It is time for Eskom to play open cards with South Africans who deserve clarity and honesty with regards to the current power crisis, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA noted conflicting reports surrounding the current crisis at Eskom and believed that South Africans deserved clarity with regards to the many theories, explanations, and excuses provided by Eskom during these “very dark days”, DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said.

“There are many reasons for the power failures South Africans are now being forced to endure, ranging from state capture and a lack of coal, to allegations of irregular tenders and Eskom’s use of companies that are unable to provide the services Eskom so desperately needs,” she said.

“For the sake of clarity and transparency the DA calls on Eskom to provide a list of all the companies it has taken action against with regards to incorrect tender processes. We also call on Eskom to inform South Africans whether it has applied for any urgent interdicts to stop contracts which result in coal shortages.”

The underlying problem, regardless of the current crisis, was that the structure of Eskom inevitably needed to change.

Eskom had proven it was incapable of delivering power to South Africans within its current operational model, and it had proven so, time and again in many different ways, Mazzone said.

– Eskom recently failed to communicate clearly with PetroSA, a simple mechanism which could have alleviated the degree of load shedding currently being experienced;

– Money for plant maintenance was redirected towards Gupta-linked firms in 2015, resulting in new and higher upkeep costs in 2018;

– The Eskom wage bill and its other finances were out of control; and

– Poor project management at Medupi and Kusile power stations doubled the costs of the building process.

“Eskom is an entity which finds itself in a state of complete collapse and the only thing that can save it is if the entire structure changes. The mess we currently find ourselves in with Eskom is undoubtedly a result of an ANC which has allowed corruption and irregularities to manifest within our state-owned enterprises. South Africans deserve clarity and honesty with regards to this crisis,” Mazzone said.

African News Agency

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