ACDP Member of Parliament Steve Swart today reacted to the briefing by Minister Pravin Gordhan on Eskom.

“The ACDP is not satisfied with the update given by Minister Pravin Gordhan. We are angered at the state of this once globally recognised power utility. The lack of maintenance that has taken place is due mainly to financial constraints caused by widespread corruption and state capture at Eskom, as highlighted inter alia by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Eskom, as well as by the Zondo Commission.

We are very concerned about talk of changing procurement processes. There has already been widespread abuse of the existing procurement processes, leading to corruption. How can relaxing of procurement processes be supported given this history, particularly when new contracts, including for the supply of coal and diesel, are being entered into on an urgent basis?

It will also make it more difficult to exercise proper oversight over procurement, given the poor oversight that resulted in the crisis we now face. As it is, it has been very difficult for National Treasury to ensure adherence to proper procurement processes to date.

South Africans are fed-up and angered at the rolling blackouts that are affecting every aspect of their lives. In their view it was foreseeable and could have been avoided. We believe that the ANC-led government must be held accountable for the shocking state of Eskom. The party has aided and abetted state capture and corruption at Eskom as is evident from the Parliamentary Inquiry and Zondo Commission.

Eskom requires a new business model to address the crisis it finds itself in. We are broadly in support of the splitting up of Eskom as recommended into Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, as long as it does not result in additional costs. This should enable Eskom to raise the much-needed funding for its various operations more easily from the market.

A further major cost driver is the inflated head count. This will need to be reduced as part of cost-cutting measures.

Greater focus should also be placed on collecting outstanding municipal debt owed to Eskom running to billions of rands. There doesn’t seem to be a political will to collect this debt, which aggravates the financial crisis Eskom finds itself in.

The ACDP also believes that all those implicated in state capture and corruption, including cabinet ministers and members of the Eskom Boards and Management, must be held accountable, both criminally and civilly. Stolen funds can and must be recovered, as we saw with the R1 billion repaid by McKinsey Management Consulting (South Africa has signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty as well as an Extradition Treaty with the United Arab Emirates, which will enable this process).

The ANC government must be held accountable, and this can be achieved, when South Africans vote in their numbers for the ACDP on the 8
th of May.”

19 March 2019