It is true that Eskom is currently functioning again, but it comes at a price which the taxpayer has to pay, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on public enterprises, said.
Dr. Groenewald, today during the budget debate of the department of public enterprises said the Minister, Lynne Brown, is boasting that there is no longer load-shedding.
He said that she was trying to create the impression that government had not made any mistakes and that Eskom is being managed well.
“The question should rather be asked why there had been load-shedding in the first instance. It was the ANC government’s incompetence which had initially led to load-shedding having to be implemented, which cost South Africa’s economy billions of rand.
“In 1998 Eskom placed a comprehensive development programme on the desk of Thabo Mbeki, then deputy president, and urged that action should be taken to prevent load-shedding becoming a reality in 2007 already. He wiped this off the table.
“It has to be asked whether the government is unwilling, or merely not capable of planning ahead. Why does government wait each time until there is a crisis before it acts? The fact that Eskom is now functioning, comes at a price, and it is the consumer that has to pay for it,” Dr. Groenewald says.
With regards to Denel setting up Denel Asia, Dr. Groenewald said that Denel Asia participated in a Defence Expo in India while the minister of finance had denied that he had approved of the setting up of the company. The minister herself did not approve it, and the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) did not approve it either.
He said the fact that Denel Asia invites the world to do business with them boils down to international fraud as it was done without the necessary approval and the minister has to account for this.
Regarding technology, Dr. Groenewald said that South Africa has the necessary expertise and technological capabilities to deliver products in line with international quality, and the question should be asked what Denel Asia offers that South Africa cannot deliver with its own expertise.
“Government wants to create job opportunities and retain our technological knowledge for the country. Why does South Africa then have to go to Asia or Denel Asia to go and develop the technology there? The country has the capability, and it should be used ion the interest of South Africa,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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