Eskom, which is now asking government for a R23 billion bailout is like Marie Antoinette who did not realise that her country’s people were struggling and said that they had to eat cake while they were begging for bread, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on public enterprises says.
Dr. Groenewald said during the parliamentary debate on the special bill in this regard that the FF Plus should not support it as Eskom itself and its sole share-holder, the government, had caused the crisis.
Regarding Marie Antoinette, Dr. Groenewald said the remark about cake was one of the main reasons why the French proletariat’s patience eventually ran out and why her head was literally chopped off by a guillotine.
“Today Eskom asks the taxpayer for R23 billion. But Friday, in two days time, a tender will be put out in which it is asked for certain groceries and food stuffs to be provided to Eskom’s corporate head office at Megawatt Park.
“This tender is amongst others, for the regular delivery of 300 cakes which include Black Forest Cake, Bar-One cakes and baked custard cakes.
This means that the top management of Eskom is living in luxury and is eating cake on the account of the taxpayer. Then they still have the gall to ask the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) for an additional 9,4% tariff increase which amended down from 12,3%.
“This means that the taxpayer just has to keep on paying while the management of Eskom had itself created the crisis together with the ANC government which is its only share-holder. It just cannot properly manage its assets.
“Of the 211 power generating units in South Africa, there are only 49 which are functioning properly. Due to maintenance work which was constantly neglected as a result of the ignorant and wrong use of the labour force, we now have these problems.
“Eskom says itself that 1 183 whites now has to leave Eskom. This includes engineers and highly skilled artisans. But then they complain about problems. An example is Duvha where an explosion as a result of overdue maintenance and ignorance caused more than a million rand in damages.
“I want to tell government they can be glad we live in the year 2015. Had we be living in the eighteenth century, your heads would have been chopped off,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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