Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Power crisis: President stops himself just before admitting that Affirmative Action is the real reason (Question-and-answer session in Parliament)

During a question-and-answer session in Parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa was confronted about earlier promises of load shedding coming to an end.

In his reply, he admitted that the people with the necessary skills have left Eskom, and that they are now being recruited from across the world to come and help resolve the crisis.

Ramaphosa first described what an excellent institution Eskom once was, and how it was seen as one of the best public utility companies in the world.

Then he described the confidence the enormous Medupi power plant instilled in him before it had been completed. But later, he realised that the project not only cost a lot more than what was budgeted, but that it also could not meet expectations due to design flaws.

Then Ramaphosa reiterated an earlier admission: The 1990s decision that Eskom would not build any more power stations is the root of the current power problem.

He added that the personnel with the capabilities to plan and execute such projects had, consequently, left Eskom.

And with the load shedding crisis in 2008, when the realisation came that Eskom will indeed need to increase its generation capacity, the personnel with the necessary skills were no longer available. As a result, the enormous Medupi and Kusile power plants, which were supposed to solve the problem, were undertaken with foreign expertise.

That was also the era of state capture and corruption.

A new admission is that the expertise needed to combat mismanagement and corruption, and to protect Eskom's interests in general were no longer in the organisation either.

Therefore, planning errors and corruption largely went unnoticed, and could only be seen in delayed completions and budget overruns.

It all eventually came to light when the power plants came online and partially failed.

According to Ramaphosa, former personnel have since been recruited worldwide to remedy the situation in South Africa. He made no mention of Solidarity's list of three hundred experts who are available to help, but of which only eighteen have been appointed.

It is important to note that the exodus of expertise was not just as a result of Eskom's changed priorities, but also due to Affirmative Action that was aggressively implemented.

While the FF Plus is convinced that engineers of colour are more than able to do the job, 'experience' is not something that can be replaced by 'potential'. So, 'affirmative appointments' ought to rise through the ranks.

With his description of Eskom's former glory and his admission that former employees are considered an important part of the solution, he is actually admitting that Affirmative Action was implemented too hastily, which forced the country's economy to its knees.

The FF Plus is the only party that continually condemned the policy.

The last thing that the President needs to admit is that to put South Africa on the road to recovery, the ANC must be ousted at the polls in 2024.

A government that values people based on expertise, and not political ties, is the only thing that will get the country back on the right track. It could create a framework in which various different identities can realise their dreams.



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