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EDITORIAL: Bright sparks needed at Eskom if we are to see the light

Published Nov 5, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - It remains mind-boggling how low the bar is in South Africa, especially when it comes to Eskom where failure seems to be the order of the day, with no consequences for those at the helm.

South Africans can be forgiven for the lack of outrage whenever the power utility implements power cuts because this happens more often than before.

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To businesses, the power can determine whether they survive the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What cannot be accepted is the narrative that Eskom group executive officer Andre de Ruyter, his fellow executives, the board and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan are the right people to keep the lights on.

If anything, the opposite is true.

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They have been given enough time to attend to the most pressing issues at Eskom but results show that they have done very little.

It cannot be business as usual when these highly paid individuals fail South Africans days before and after the most crucial time in our democracy – the elections.

Less than 24 hours after going to the polls, Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding. We were on Stage 4 before elections.

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Political parties have rightly expressed their concern about the impact this might have on the integrity of the elections.

If this is not enough reason for heads to roll at Eskom, then we do not know what it will take for the country to realise that the crisis at the power utility requires competent individuals who are highly skilled and less arrogant.

The problems at Eskom cannot always be blamed on state capture, as Gordhan would like us to believe. That’s beating a dead horse.

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Billions of taxpayer’s money has been given to Eskom, with no visible returns.

In fact, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thankfully South Africans, especially the poor, are forgiving, but their patience is fast running out.

The Eskom leadership’s task is to keep our lights on. They have dismally failed to do so. No amount of spinning can prove otherwise.

And Eskom will continue being a threat to our economy as long as our government puts friends at its helm to benefit their associates and party factions.

The casualty in all of this is us, the customers, struggling to keep up with high electricity bills and facing multiple blackouts a day. This is why voting is crucial.

Cape Times

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