Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The DA is pushing ahead with its so-called Private Member’s Bill aimed at splitting the power utility Eskom into two entities: responsible for power production and power distribution.

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone published a notice in the Government Gazette on Friday, showing the intention by the party to introduce the Independent System and Market Operator (Ismo) Bill in Parliament.

“The Ismo Bill is to be introduced during the second half of 2019,” the notice said. The summary of the bill was already published in February, after DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced in October that it would be coming, and that it was aimed at dismantling Eskom’s monopoly.

This was also long before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) early this year, that Eskom would need to develop a new business model.

Ramaphosa at the time said the government would embark on a process of establishing three separate entities - generation, transmission and distribution - under Eskom Holdings.

He, however, steered clear of the unbundling of Eskom in his second SONA last month, and announced that the government would table the special Appropriation Bill on an urgent basis to allocate R230billion that the cash-strapped Eskom required over the next 10 years.

In her notice for the explanatory summary of the bill, Mazzone said it could not be denied that Eskom had effectively become a “zombie enterprise that was overinflated, and riddled with corruption”.

She said the power utility served as the main generator, and the central purchaser and distributor of electricity. “It (Eskom) marginalises independent power producers in order to maintain its stranglehold over the country.”

Political Bureau