PARLIAMENT – President Cyril Ramaphosa said a special cabinet task team has been established to deal with the Eskom crisis and provide him with reports daily on the state of the power grid and "what actions need to be taken to ensure energy supply".
Responding to the debate on the State of the nation address, which saw opposition parties heavily criticise Ramaphosa and the ANC-led government for allowing the crisis to unfold over the past few years, the president said there was no "silver bullet" to solve the power utility's massive problems.
"For those who have doubted the extent of these challenges, this week's load shedding has provided a hugely damaging reality check," he said.
The cabinet task team would be led by deputy president David Mabuza and will include Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande, Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.
Ramaphosa said while his announcement that Eskom will be split into three entities grabbed the headlines, what was more urgent was an effective and competent power plant maintenance plan which was properly funded and led by skilled engineers, saying it "is the one thing that stands between reliable electricity supply and darkness".