President Cyril Ramaphosa has insisted that his administration had Eskom’s persistent woes under control.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has insisted that his administration had Eskom’s persistent woes under control, as the embattled power utility continues to suffer from leadership and operational instability.
Delivering the ANC’s annual January 8 statement in Kimberley where the party celebrated 108 years of its existence, Ramaphosa said he was aware South Africans were losing patience with the crisis of load shedding and leadership uncertainty at Eskom.
“We are going to strengthen Eskom so that it can deliver energy as it should. Right now, we understand very clearly the concerns that South Africans have about the load shedding that we continue to have almost on a daily basis. These are challenges that we are addressing,” Ramaphosa said.
His remarks at the rally came just a day after former Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza abruptly resigned.
Before his resignation, Mabuza and the Eskom leadership had been accused by Deputy President David Mabuza of misleading Ramaphosa on the utility’s success in eliminating load shedding.
Ramaphosa said his government would not let the entity fail and that its leadership was instructed to ensure regular maintenance of power stations to alleviate the problem.
“Eskom’s management and its board must continue to ensure that they maintain power stations. Many of them are old, and the new ones we have built still have a number of design challenges, and that is why they keep on tripping and leading to load shedding,” he said.
He said his deputy, Mabuza, would lead a number of Cabinet ministers in intervening at the crisis-ridden utility.
“The deputy president will be leading the war room, working with other ministers as well as the management of Eskom and the board, to ensure that Eskom is restored. I have no doubt in my mind that we will restore Eskom,” he said.
Delivering the message of support at the rally, Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi hailed Jabu Mabuza’s departure from Eskom, adding that the federation wanted to see the entire board dissolved.
“It has come at the time we have been long calling for it. Since August last year, Cosatu has called for the entire board of Eskom to step down. We are saying to the rest of the board, do the honourable thing and tender your resignation and follow suit,” Losi said.
Thousands of the party’s members and supporters filled the Tafel Lager Park Stadium to listen to the ANC’s call to action message for the year.
Ramaphosa also has sought to commit that the ANC-led government under his leadership would not flounder at the face of opposition as it plans to execute the expropriation of land without compensation policy.
The parliamentary ad hoc committee on the redrafting of Section 25 of the Constitution is set to finish its work in March, before the National Assembly votes for the changing of the property clause to enable the execution of the policy.
“What this means is that we are going to move ahead with the decision that was taken at our 54th conference to expropriate land without compensation, because land still remains the sore and the wound that our people still carry over all these years,” he said.
He sent out a stern warning to the ANC’s public representatives who continued to soil the party’s standing among its supporters through bad performance and wrongdoing, especially in municipalities.
“We will focus on the capabilities, commitment and integrity of councillors and local government officials.
“Where there is poor or no performance, there will be consequences,” the president said.