Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Additional aid to Eskom just to cover debt and not to generate power

A stable electricity supplier is of the utmost importance for economic growth in South Africa. Thus, the question is not whether a failed Eskom will be detrimental to the country's economy. That is already the case.

Eskom's debt is so great that any financial aid will mainly be used to pay it off and not to generate electricity.

The real question that must be asked is, thus, whether yet another financial lifeline of R59 billion in tax money will really curb Eskom's collapse and prevent further load shedding if the R83 billion that has been pumped into Eskom since 2006 did not save it?

There are conditions for the recent lifeline, but there were also conditions for the previous R83 billion. Every previous bailout was meant to improve electricity supply and increase capacity and not to cover operational costs, but that is ultimately what it was used for.

The last time that Eskom was able to pay out a dividend to the government was in 2006 when a mere R1,6 billion was paid out.

The blame for the electricity supplier's decline can only be placed at the ANC's door. Due to cadre deployment, directors and executive officials were appointed for exorbitant salaries. They stood idly by and watched as the enterprise was being looted while maintenance and proper management were neglected.

R59 billion will not save Eskom. The government is not taking the matter seriously. This was once again confirmed today by the sheer indifference of members of the Inter-ministerial Committee for outstanding debt to Eskom who did not even bother to attend a meeting of the Standing Committee for Public Accounts.

To continue throwing money down the bottomless Eskom-pit will not solve the problem. It will also not be solved as long as the government is being held hostage by its alliance partners who turn down every proposal for a solution like privatisation and unbundling.

Electricity supply in South Africa must be deregulated. There must be healthy competition so that private enterprises can become part of the solution. Making the same mistake over and over again, like awarding the bailout of R59 billion, borders on insanity.

Contact number: 082 674 6670




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