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Vavi says load shedding is guise to deliberately hand over Eskom to private hands

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has questioned ongoing load shedding and called for heads to roll. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has questioned ongoing load shedding and called for heads to roll. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Published Nov 9, 2021

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Cape Town – Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says the continued load shedding by power utility Eskom was due to deliberate mismanagement and inefficiency from within to hand the entity to private hands.

Speaking at the media briefing of the campaign movement Cry of the Xcluded, Vavi said Saftu was one of the organisations making calls on current CEO Andre de Ruyter to be fired, together with his entire board.

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“They failed beyond reasonable doubt that they are useless. They have proven that there is no solution that will ever come from their side. South Africa is suffering. South Africa is in darkness,” he said.

He made the statement when asked during the briefing of Cry of the Xcluded when it outlined its expectation ahead of the medium term expenditure framework to be tabled by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.

There are growing calls that the CEO, the board and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan should resign for failing to bring an end to the load shedding.

On Monday, Eskom announced stage 4 load shedding until Friday, after experiencing breakdowns at its power stations.

Vavi said no economy could survive under the ongoing load shedding and SMMEs were set to close down and millions of workers would be placed on short-term employment, among other things.

This happens as students prepare for final exams and criminals are taking advantage of the “total mess.”

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“We believe it is deliberately mismanaged and defunded to allow this utility to be handed over to private hands,” he said.

Vavi noted that there were now Independent Power Producers (IPPs0 and municipalities could now source electricity from them.

He said renewable energy should be placed in the hands of the people, and not the private sector, in order to generate profit.

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“This hollowing of Eskom is deliberate so that the friends of politicians can benefit,” he said.

Vavi also said central to their call on President Cyril Ramaphosa was that the Eskom board and Gordhan, who allegedly said the load shedding issue was “complicated”, should be removed.

“If he does not fire these people then he must step down, resign and leave the seat for someone else,” Vavi said.

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