Cosatu calls for removal of Eskom board, Gordhan

Citing mismanagement of the state-owned utility’s operations and finances.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Image: Moneyweb

South Africa’s biggest labour group called for the entire board of Eskom to be dismissed, along with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, citing mismanagement of the state-owned utility’s operations and finances.

“This board has been there for two years and they don’t have a strategy or turnaround plan and they don’t seem to have a funding plan except to dismantle Eskom,” Sizwe Pamla, the national spokesman of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said by phone on Friday. “On top of that we have load-shedding, so heads must roll.”

The debt-laden state utility, which is overseen by Gordhan, shed as much as 6 000 megawatts from the national grid last month, the most yet. It resumed rolling blackouts on January 4, despite assurances from President Cyril Ramaphosa that there would be no power cuts until January 13. While it eased the cuts on Friday, Eskom said the grid remained vulnerable to unplanned outages or breakdowns.

Deputy President David Mabuza said Eskom and Gordhan had misled Ramaphosa when they told him there would be no power cuts until mid-January, News24 reported earlier this week.

The crisis is beginning to taint Ramaphosa’s credibility, Pamla said. “This was supposed to be an era where things would be done differently,” he said. “When we hear a deputy president say we were misled it also calls into question President Ramaphosa’s credibility and this is a crisis that is now dragging him into the situation.”

The utility, which is saddled with debts of about R450 billion and depends on government bailouts to operate, says it may need further help to survive. While cabinet appointments are the president’s prerogative, Cosatu, which was instrumental in Ramaphosa’s rise to the ruling party’s top spot, is lobbying for Gordhan’s removal, Pamla said.

“If Gordhan is unable to hold these board members accountable then as the political deployee, he must fall on his sword,” Pamla said. “We can’t bully him but we are putting this forward to President Ramaphosa for his consideration.”

Department of Public Enterprises spokesman Sam Mkokeli didn’t immediately respond to a text message or phone calls seeking comment.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Please stick to labour issues and leave strategic decisions to the people with the multiple degrees, knowledge and decades of experience.

Pravin Gordhan comes from a family with multiple professors. Highly intelligent and respected people.

Lol, after 2 years I have not seen any improvement at Eskom. And for that matter no sprinkling of intelligence regarding the handling of Eskom.

Mr. Gordhan very enthusiastically collected our tax money when he worked at SARS. With a glint in his eye. Now he can’t make make progress at Eskom? Perhaps he is past his sell by date. Perhaps he has gone soft.

Credibility? What credibility? Ever since he came to power no truth whatsoever has came from his mouth, ever!

I wonder if Cosatu will still support changes at Escom when their nembers who are doing nothing and paid more then graduate teachers for walking aroundat the two power stations not yet functioning are made redundant…?

Gordhan is running between Pretoria and Eskom head office and his first priority is counting votes, instead of fixing Eskom.

Cosatu blaming the Board and Gordhan is like the pot and kettle story. It is Cosatu’s opposition to the 20 000 workers that need to be laid off that is costing Eskom and the country.

This arrogant, ignorant COSATU president Zingiswa Losi was also allowed to give a speech at the ANC celebrations in Kimberley yesterday. She also called for the same, removal of board and PG.
In reality the more sensible and well informed people in SA should request COSATU to step down from the public debate on ESKOM and the energy sector as they are completely clueless.
Trade Unions are given too much airtime and attention by the SA media.

End of comments.

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