LETTER: It’s over and lights out for Eskom
BUSINESS LIVE / 14 FEBRUARY 2019 - 05:00 / ROB TIFFIN - CAPE TOWN
Gordhan thinks that because state capture has seemingly ended it will all work out with a few new engineers running the plants
When will the government realise that it is game over for Eskom?
Pravin Gordhan. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan thinks that because state capture is over (we think), it will all work out with a few new engineers to run the plants.
The government got rid of those very same engineers as they did not meet affirmative action numbers. They then brought BEE into procurement, which allowed Gordhan’s predecessor, Lynne Brown, and former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to say no company with less than 50% black ownership could get a coal contract. Did we hear either Gordhan or President Cyril Ramaphosa countermand that instruction? After all, they were in government!
Suppliers have said that costs in new power stations were so inflated that they could simply not believe the prices Eskom paid for things.
The management of Eskom have no experience in running a utility business and are simply passengers on this sinking ship. The government will not let them fire 12,000 extra workers and thus save R5bn a year, or cut off Soweto, which owes R17bn and counting.
If Eskom gets its 15%-plus increase through over the next three years, 150,000 miners lose their jobs. It owes R400bn on a turnover of R90bn, on which it makes a loss!
There is not a chance in hell this will come right as clearly now the operations are failing through lack of investment, unskilled staff and useless, overpaid management. Ramaphosa and Gordhan are rearranging the deck chairs of the SS ANC Titanic and it’s sinking fast. They have run out of our money to waste.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER