Cabinet wasted 'key opportunity' to address energy troubles - Intellidex | Fin24

Cabinet wasted 'key opportunity' to address energy troubles - Intellidex

Dec 18 2019 05:00
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

Last week's Cabinet meeting fell short of the mark in terms of aggressively addressing the Eskom crisis and reassuring investors of energy security, according to capital markets and financial services research firm, Intellidex South Africa.

The firm released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, following a briefing by Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on last week’s Cabinet meeting.

The meeting came at the end of a week that had seen the implementation of unprecedented stage six load shedding.

'Patina of spin'

Mthembu announced several measures in response, including:

  • that incoming Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter be asked to start working ahead of the originally scheduled date of 15 January 2020,
  • legislation to regulate biofuel energy, and
  • the reintroduction of the Eskom 'war room' to tackle energy supply challenges.

These interventions failed to impress Intellidex, with the firm referring to the Cabinet meeting and its outcomes as an extension of a previous week's meeting.

This, it said, "gave the unfortunate patina of spin to the whole thing".

"The bar was high and specific – and it was missed, indeed the situation was made worse.

"A key opportunity was lost to turn sentiment, which would have been possible from more meaningful announcements. Instead we are left with confusion," the statement said.

The statement said it was unclear how the reintroduction the Eskom war room – including Deputy President David Mabuza, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe – addressed immediate emergencies at the utility.

"We are unclear what this adds – the capacity on energy policy is in Mineral Resources not Public Enterprises and National Treasury, equally it is only the minister of mineral resources and energy who can make determinations on energy procurement and other directions and rule changes we’ve laid out required from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa," the statement said.

The statement said while the call for De Ruyter to start earlier was a positive move, this could create the impression that he could summon new and previously unheard advice on fixing the entity, which Intellidex said was unlikely.

intellidex  |  eskom  |  south africa  |  load shedding


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