The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on public enterprises minister Lynne Brown to come clean on the disarray at power utility, Eskom
The DA noted that media reports allege that the Eskom board has rejected the proposals for an inquiry initiated by Chairman of the Board, Zola Tsotsi, in addition to reports that the board was poised to recommend his removal.
This follows the suspension of Eskom’s CEO, Tshediso Matona, and three other senior executives including the financial director, to allow for the Tsotsi inquiry into the operations of the utility without their interference.
This leadership vacuum, which appears to be worsening, led to the utility’s second credit downgrade to “junk” by rating agency Standard & Poor’s, while Moody’s described the situation as “credit negative” for Eskom, the DA said.
“I will write an urgent letter to the Minister Lynne Brown, and Public Enterprises Committee chair, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting requesting that time be dedicated to the Minister to brief MPs on the state of utter disarray within the leadership at Eskom, said DA shadow minister of public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone.
The DA called on the minister to ‘enlighten’ Committee members on the following:
- Under whose recommendation and authority was the Tsotsi investigation initiated;
- Can she assure members that the suggestions of the recently appointed advisory body to the Eskom “war room” will receive due consideration;
- What is the build and testing status of Medupi and Kusile, were contractual penalties levied against Alstom for late delivery at Medupi and what is the new proposed date for completion of Khusile;
- Why were executives paid incentive bonuses while they were presiding over the virtual collapse of Eskom;
- Is it fair for Eskom to straddle consumer – who are already under severe financial pressure – with a 25% tariff increase?
“At a time when Eskom is crippled, limping along and barely capable of keeping the lights on, attention should be paid to resolving the operational issues facing Eskom instead of hidden agenda’s being played out publicly among board members,” Mazzone said.
“For far too long, South Africans have been told to accept living with daily load shedding without being comprehensively briefed on the true state of Eskom,” the DA enterprise lead said.