The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is again calling for drastic changes at Eskom, after the country was plunged, yet again, into consecutive days of loadshedding, with citizens forced to manage without power for more than six hours a day, courtesy of Stage 6.
All this, while the country’s President was travelling abroad. Although he beat a hasty retreat home after the announcement of Stage 6, the IFP is of the opinion that this was merely a PR exercise, with his return having little to no impact on the power crisis.
South Africa has now passed the dubious milestone of 70 days of loadshedding for 2022, and counting.
How is the economy expected to grow? How are businesses, especially SMMEs, with fewer resources, supposed to stay afloat?
Based on Eskom’s pitiful track record, the IFP has no confidence in the Eskom Board, Executive, or CEO; and the IFP asserts that those currently at the helm of Eskom are not fit for purpose.
Drastic changes at Eskom are needed, and people with the necessary skills and motivation are required to drive such.
At what stage will the President of the country admit that the much-publicised, much-lauded Eskom ‘turnaround’ strategy has been a colossal failure? Stage 8?
Eskom needs a new leadership collective with energy and relevant engineering skills, knowledge and expertise. A public and transparent process of appointing a new Board and Executives must unfold: they are first and foremost accountable to the people of South Africa. It is further essential that due process is followed. Each person appointed must be thoroughly vetted.
Further, another fundamental issue plaguing Eskom is the complete lack of consequence management. The country is frequently presented with a bevy of excuses for the power crisis, such as wet coal or even sabotage. Yet, where are the investigative reports into these allegations – and more importantly, the suggested action plans to prevent such from re-occurring?
As regards short-term solutions, the ability for independent power producers (IPP) to supplement the existing power grid must be fast-tracked. This being said, if emergency procurement measures are required, such must again follow due process. This cannot be another opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to profit from the shortcomings of government to provide basic services.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539