I have today written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, requesting that she urgently summon the Head of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee, Enoch Godongwana, and the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, to appear before the Committee. Mr Godongwana and Minister Brown must elaborate on the decision taken by the ANC lekgotla that parts of Eskom must be sold and the contradiction of the Public Enterprises Ministry that no such plan is on the table.
This follows pronouncements yesterday by Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, where she clarified that she was not in favour of privatising or partially privatising Eskom. This is in direct contradiction to the comments by Enoch Godongwana who stated that the ANC has decided that part of Eskom must be sold to raise funds to keep the lights on.
Her comments also clash with those of Treasury Director-General, Lungisa Fuzile, who was quoted as saying the energy war room was looking at ways to get the private sector involved in Eskom. This was reported to include reviving a policy that could see the private sector take a stake of up to 30% in state utility Eskom’s power-generating assets via a direct sale or an initial public offering.
The Committee must compel the Public Enterprises Minister and the Head of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee to come clean to South Africans regarding the government’s intention regarding Eskom and the selling of its non-strategic assets as an interim measure. As Eskom is a critically important state enterprise, the people of this country, through their elected representatives, have a right to be informed of government’s intentions. The Portfolio Committee must be allowed to perform its constitutionally mandated oversight role in the best interests of all South Africans.
It is important to note that the DA has long called for the passing of the ISMO bill as this will remove management of the grid from Eskom. The DA has also long-aocated for the dismantling of the Eskom monopoly as this is the only way to allow Independent Power Producers (IPP) onto the grid as a means to alleviate the strain that is currently hampering Eskom’s ability to cater for the electricity needs of all South Africans.
Eskom has gone from bad to worse, while South Africans and the economy suffer. The financial crisis at Eskom vindicates the DA’s position that the generation of South Africa’s power must be broadened to include independent power producers.
Parliament needs to be afforded the opportunity to interrogate the proposals of any privatisation deal and ensure that the money pumped into Eskom by the South African public is used wisely.
For the good of our nation’s economy and its capacity to sustain our people’s livelihoods, we will continue to submit demands that will lead to a constant uninterrupted supply of electricity.
Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
Source : Democratic Alliance