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Private sector increasingly blamed for ANC’s failure with public enterprises

Astonishingly, the ANC government is increasingly blaming the private sector and the public for the problems at Eskom and other public enterprises.

First the Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said in a radio interview with 702 earlier this week (My Broadband; Mantashe blames private sector for load-shedding – 1 May 2023) that the private sector is to blame for load shedding and Eskom’s financial problems.

Mantashe said, according to the report, that a lack of interest from the private sector to invest in new power stations caused South Africa’s energy crisis.

And yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Obed Bapela, elaborated on this in reply to a question from the FF Plus in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

In his view, no minister nor deputy minister can be held accountable for the decline of public enterprises.

He said that criminality, like theft at Eskom, is a “community problem”, seeing as theft is endemic in South Africa.

Clearly, the ANC government is refusing to take any responsibility for its failures. And the blame for the fiasco with public enterprises is now seemingly being shifted to the public in an orchestrated manner.

The FF Plus initially asked the Minister why government is taking so long to decide whether public enterprises should possibly be privatised, while being fully aware of the serious problems affecting these enterprises.

The Minister was also asked whether he, as minister, supports the privatisation and closure of some of these enterprises.

Bapela replied by saying that a report on the matter is currently being compiled.

It will indicate, among other things, which enterprises must be closed, which will be transferred to other departments, and which ones can still be saved.

According to him, a date for the completion of the said report has not yet been determined. He added that it will be “soon”, though.

The report will first be presented to President Cyril Ramaphosa and then be tabled in Parliament.

He, furthermore, mentioned that public enterprises’ debt burden and state capture also play a significant role.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the ANC is trying to shift the blame for its own incompetence, mismanagement and corruption to the public.

These desperate measures are merely an attempt by the ruling party to wash its hands of the matter in the run-up to the elections. It will not work. The public will not be so easily misled after nearly thirty years of ANC failures.

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