President Cyril Ramaphosa replied to the debate on the state-of-the-nation address on Thursday. PHOTO: Supplied by GCIS

Parliament – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday emphatically ruled out privatising any part of Eskom as government moves to split the struggling power utility into three separate entities.

In reply to the parliamentary debate on his state of the nation address, Ramaphosa urged critics of the plan to understand that these would be "hundred percent owned state entities".

He was responding to outrage from labour, notably the National Union of Mineworkers, to the plan put forward in his address. NUM threatened earlier not to bring its voting bloc to the ruling African National Congress should the government proceed with the unbundling, citing fears of job losses.

"It is not a path to privatisation, I repeat, it is not a path to privatisation. Restructuring will reduce the risk of a massive Eskom that has at times been termed too big to fail, placing us as government in a position where we have all our eggs in one basket."

Ramaphosa said he would be meeting with labour representatives in coming days to address their objections.

African News Agency (ANA)