Calls are mounting for Pubic Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to be sacked over his failure to turn around the fortunes of SA's failing SOEs. File picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters
Durban - As the calls for Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to be axed amplifies after the poor performance of state-owned enterprises (SOE), he still has some ardent hometown supporters in Durban who are rallying behind him.

The pressure for Gordhan to throw in the towel accelerated after the resignation of Jabu Mabuza, Eskom’s former board chairperson.

Mabuza bowed out after a promise made to President Cyril Ramaphosa that Eskom would halt load shedding until after January 13 was broken.

Cosatu, Economic Freedom Fighters and a faction within the ANC, and others have been at the forefront, calling for Gordhan’s head.

It was not the first time Gordhan has been able to draw support from Durban when he was subjected to political challenges.

Ashok Chandika, convener of the Merebank Justice Network, said they had planned prayer meetings and gatherings to mobilise people to support Gordhan.

Chandika was critical of Gordhan haters and added that years of maladministration, looting and mismanagement at Eskom would not be overcome overnight.

“We need to see the problems at Eskom for what they are and not be misled by self-serving political opponents of Gordhan.

“Track records cannot be invented. Gordhan has made colossal contributions to the nation in both pre- and post-1994.”

“He is credited with transforming the previously pedestrian tax department from a bureaucratic, inefficient and underperforming entity to a world-class revenue service that collects hundreds of billions of rand. His achievements as finance minister and other Cabinet appointments have earned him global respect,” he said.

Chandika claimed that the plan was not just to fire Gordhan, but it was a fightback by compromised individuals within the ANC who have everything to lose now that the Zondo Commission is progressing.

“We call upon President Ramaphosa to not just retain Minister Pravin Gordhan, but to strengthen his hand to direct the sorely needed changes at Eskom and other SOEs,” he said.

Sunday Tribune