Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was thrust into the spotlight with critics on Twitter saying he was responsible for the shoddy conditions of Eskom. Picture: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS

Johannesburg - With loadshedding on the cards this week, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was thrust into the spotlight with critics on Twitter saying he was responsible for the shoddy conditions of state owned enterprises, particularly Eskom. 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Eskom said that since the past weekend, plant performance had deteriorated with “unplanned breakdowns”, reaching a high of 12500 megawatts before reducing to approximately 11500 megawatts on Tuesday morning. 

“Eskom is currently using emergency resources, being diesel and pumped water storage to keep the lights on,” read the statement. 

Although the power utility admitted that it expected the return of several of its units on Tuesday and Wednesday, the probability of loadshedding remained low for the week. Their system remained constrained until at least Thursday. 

“We remind customers that any unexpected shift, such as additional unplanned breakdowns or the unavailability of diesel or pumped water storage reserves, could result in loadshedding at short notice,” Eskom said.

On Sunday, following ratings agency Moody’s negative outlook on the South African economy, Gordhan appeared on eNCA, saying that he disagreed with the ratings agency’s outlook.

“Where I disagree with Moody’s is that in some sectors, the political capital is certainly there as well as the ideas to bring about the necessary changes. Eskom is one example. There are opportunities for us. Just like the Springboks did, if we take our opportunities and score tries then we will emerge as victors,” Gordhan said.

However, Twitters users said that the woes faced by Eskom and other SOEs such as Transnet and SAA were down to Gordhan, with @EliasChinemore posting: “Pravin Gordhan blames everyone but not himself, he said the problem the SOEs are facing is because of certain individuals who are sabotaging the economy. He banna this man is unbelievable, he cannot take any responsibility for his failures.”  

@AndiswaMadikazi tweeted: “Pravin Gordhan is a destruction boy, busy destructing (sic) our SOE in the name of cleaning them. The racist is firing black qualified academics and enforcing Whites with Grade 12 in positions of power. And you guys defend that mediocrity with, “degree is just a piece of paper”. Nonke!”  

@thembelakhalis1 wrote: “Why is @pravingordhan allowed to be self appointed President of this country, not guys this man is totally failing us in SOEs. What has he done @Eskom since he took over, only the worse loss (sic) and Mr Mabuza being the player and referee appointed by him.” 

Expressing his disappointment at the possibility of loadshedding, @Rinae_Singo posted: “South Africa supplying electricity to Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and DRC at the expense of its citizens.” 

Political Bureau