President Cyril Ramaphosa insists his administration has Eskom’s persistent woes under control, despite the power utility's leadership woes and operational instability. Photo: ANA/Danie van der Lith

Kimberley - President Cyril Ramaphosa insists his administration has Eskom’s persistent woes under control, as the embattled power utility continues to suffer leadership and operational instability.

Delivering the ANC’s annual January 8 statement in Kimberley in the Northern Cape, where the party celebrated 108 years of its existence, Ramaphosa said he was aware South Africans had lost patience with the load shedding crisis and leadership uncertainty at the power utility.

“We are going to strengthen Eskom so that it can deliver energy as it should.

“Right now, we understand very clearly the concerns that South Africans have about the load shedding that we continue to have almost on a daily basis. These are challenges that we are addressing,” Ramaphosa said.

His remarks came just a day after former Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza abruptly resigned from the embattled utility.

Before his resignation, Mabuza and the Eskom leadership were accused by Deputy President David Mabuza of misleading Ramaphosa on the utility’s progress in eliminating load shedding.

Ramaphosa said his government would not let the entity fail and that its leadership was instructed to ensure regular maintenance of power stations to alleviate the power problem.

“Eskom’s management and its board must continue to ensure that they maintain power stations.

“Many of them are old, and the new ones we have built, still have a number of design challenges, and that is why they keep on tripping and leading to load shedding,” he said.

He said Mabuza, would lead some of the cabinet ministers in an intervention at the utility.

“The deputy president will be leading the war room working with other ministers as well as the management of Eskom and the board to ensure that Eskom is restored.

“I have no doubt in my mind that we will restore Eskom,” he said.

Delivering a message of support at the rally, Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi hailed Mabuza’s departure from Eskom, adding that the federation wanted the entire board dissolved.

“It (the resignation) has come at the time we have been long calling for it.

“Since August, Cosatu has called for the entire board of Eskom to step down,” said Losi.

Political Bureau