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'Pravin Gordhan must be investigated for Eskom's load shedding debacle'

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)/Archives.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)/Archives.

Published Jan 9, 2020


Kimberley - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan should be investigated following remarks by Deputy President David Mabuza that he, along with the Eskom board, misled President Cyril Ramaphosa about the power utility's load shedding debacle. 

This call was made by the legal think tank and lobby group Insika Economic Movement, who have called on government to probe the matter further. 

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In December, after consultation with senior officials at the power utility, Ramaphosa promised South Africans that Eskom would keep the lights on until at least January 10 But this did not materialise, as load shedding resumed a week earlier. 

Speaking in Kimberley, Mabuza told journalists that the president had been told that there would be no load shedding during the festive season until January 10, but load shedding returned earlier than the promised date. The deputy president said this should be considered to be misleading the president. 

Mabuza's comments have touched a raw nerve with Insika with the movement calling for 'Gordhan to be dealt with'.  

"We are very concerned about the state of SOE's (state owned enterprises) in the country, not only because they have become a pit for our economy but because they have become the ground to settle political scores. We would like to register that we don’t believe that the Eskom war room is a solution to Eskom's technical and governance challenges. We call for an investigation and divisive action to be taken against those who have lied to the president and the country," the lobby group said. 

Mabuza, who was doing a walkabout at Diamond Pavilion Mall in Kimberley ahead of the ANC's birthday celebrations on Saturday, said he would meet with the newly appointed Eskom group chief executive, André de Ruyter, in the new week. 

"From the day we went to Eskom with the president, I insisted that the problem at Eskom is maintenance of the power stations, it is very important. You can’t say there won’t be any load shedding if there’s no effective maintenance of these power generation plants. 

"So the problem at Eskom is maintenance. The president was misled," said Mabuza. 

Dr Sihle Sibiya, president of the Insika lobby group, said they would be meeting other organisations and stakeholders next week to discuss the crisis at Eskom. 

"It's clear that something very sinister has been going on at Eskom and Gordhan must be made to account," Sibiya said. 

Political Bureau

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