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The President's man: How Pravin Gordhan navigates Eskom ... and treacherous political waters

South Africans have had it up to here with corruption, poor governance, theft and mismanagement. And nowhere is that more evident than when Eskom fails and everyone – rich or poor, black or white – is plunged into the bronze age for hours upon end. We throw our collective arms into the air and curse whatever gods have foisted this disaster on us.

The reasons for Eskom’s failure are varied and complex. But there’s consensus that a combination of poor planning and management and state capture has eroded the capabilities of a once proud company to such an extent that the whole thing is always on the verge of collapse.

Pravin Gordhan, the minister of public enterprises, is charged with saving the company – while simultaneously cleaning it up after the depravation of the Zuma years. His task is enormous and difficult, made even more so in the face of a constant barrage of attack from political enemies and looters who don’t want to give up access to state resources. I sat down with him to talk about Eskom, politics and how boilers work.


Pieter du Toit
Assistant Editor: In-depth News

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a press briefing at M

The president’s man: Eskom, and how Pravin Gordhan navigates treacherous political waters

Pieter du Toit

He seems to be under constant pressure, with calls for his dismissal being made daily and from all quarters. But Pravin Gordhan, the minister of public enterprises, seems pretty unflappable


The other side of the debate has the view that Gordhan is part of the good guys fighting back.

They have the view that there is an ANC version of "Avengers" that will clean up the muck of state capture, corruption and poor service delivery.

This Mzansi Avengers is made up of Cyril Ramaphosa, Pravin Gordhan, Tito Mboweni as the lead actors.  

Both sides of this debate get it horribly wrong and fall into the dangerous pit of South African politics.

The cult and elevation of personalities.

Unless ANC gets its house in order, expect more Gupta-style state capture attempts 

Mpumelelo Mkhabela

A culture should be developed where it is frowned upon for a minister or proxy of a minister to call a director general or a CEO of a state entity enquiring about employment or procurement opportunities for comrade.


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