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Privatise Eskom now, urges DA

Aug 05 2014 18:41

Cape Town - South Africa desperately needs private players to assist in the energy industry and ministers and government officials reportedly agree, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The DA on Tuesday threw its weight behind Cabinet ministers who are reported to be pushing for the privatisation of Eskom.

"The Business Day today reported that a number of unnamed Cabinet ministers and government officials were advocating for the unbundling and partial privatisation of Eskom," it said in a statement.

"The DA has always advocated for the privatisation of electricity supply generation and the unbundling of Eskom’s supply monopoly."

It said this move would ease financial pressure on the state by getting private investors to fund electricity supply generation. It would also increase efficiency by introducing competition and drive job creation.

However, for any of this to happen, the DA called for the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) bill, which was announced in 2010 by President Jacob Zuma, to be passed in Parliament.

The bill was debated and passed by the full energy committee in 2013, but was not debated and passed in the House in Parliament because of "ministerial interference".

The DA alleged that the ANC's tripartite alliance is preventing reform in the energy sector.
"The government cannot allow ANC alliance partners to hold the economy to ransom," it added.

"The vultures are circulating around Eskom", South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Sunday.

"We must not allow the vultures (including some within our own movement) to destroy Eskom", he warned.

Nzimande called for Eskom to be given a mining licence for coal, the refurbishment of older power stations and alternative financing models for municipalities.

The power utility last month gave MP's a bleak account of financial standing, saying it faced a R225bn revenue shortfall.

Eskom said it would continue to introduce measures to cut costs, but insisted only higher electricity tariffs would help with its cash flow problems.

The National Energy Regulator (Nersa) authorised Eskom to recover an additional R7.8bn in revenue from its customers from next April. Eskom wanted to increase earnings by R18.4bn.

 - Fin24

da  |  anc  |  eskom  |  electricity


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