President Cyril Ramaphosa African News Agency
President Cyril Ramaphosa has set up a task team to look at the business model and recommend changes to rescue the bankrupt Eskom.

According to the CVs of the members, they all seem qualified, with one glaring exception. Brian Dames the chairman. Under his watch, load shedding was introduced for the first time.

As chief executive, it took him six months to come up with a business plan based on the one that was drawn up by a British consultancy in about 1994, which prioritised maintenance and the building of smaller power stations.

This advice was ignored, and maintenance was not done. And Dames supported the building of two huge coal-fired stations - Kusile and Medupi. These were the biggest projects ever attempted in Africa.

Despite warnings from experts that the projects were too big, they went ahead. ANC cadres like Dames wanted to show the world what we can do.

The power stations are still not complete and have overrun budgets by billions. Dames was probably a good technician but he has no business acumen to manage and lead the biggest and most important SOE.

All Dames left behind was a legacy of load shedding. Eskom has always claimed that we use too much electricity. What is not mentioned is that electricity usage has remained flat in the past four years because of the number of businesses which have gone under.

This as an excuse for raising the tariffs. In fact, they need the money to fund the huge salary bill and bonuses for the bloated staff.