The ANC has joined the public in lambasting state power utility Eskom for implementing stage 4 load shedding today. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe issued a strongly worded statement questioning the leadership skills and management style of the Eskom bosses.
Mabe’s statement follows comments earlier on Wednesday by party deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, also blasting Eskom.
Duarte said the ANC had taken it on themselves to meet with public enterprises minister and ANC national executive committee member Pravin Gordhan as well as Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter about the exact causes of the load shedding.
“We met with all ANC members responsible for energy, and our critical question was about how to deal with the Eskom issue. Where we are right now with the issue is that we are demanding an answer; we want to know what is going on with Eskom. Why is this thing not able to be resolved? That is where we are right now. We cannot go on like this. Every day there is a message that there will be load shedding and it seems it is never going to end,” she said.
The ANC statement released by Mabe lamented the inconsistency shown by Eskom in implementing load shedding.
“The ANC calls for leadership and transparency in explaining to South Africans the state of power supply and in order to make an honest assessment of whether the right skills and leadership are at our disposal at the utility under the current circumstances.”
Mabe said the timing of implementing stage 4 load shedding was a grave concern to them because it coincided with the first day of examinations for thousands of matriculants around the country.
“The latest bout of load shedding is despite a commitment by the CEO of the utility, Andre de Ruyter to contain load shedding and ease disruption to power supply in mid-October,” said Mabe.
He said matriculants must have the opportunity to study and write their final examination uninterrupted by power outages.
But Eskom declined to be drawn into the debate on load shedding.
Its spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said they are not going to comment on the ANC statement.
Mabe accused the power utility of deliberately implementing load shedding to settle political scores, but without providing specifics on how and what politics it was playing.
“Given the inconsistency in information and assurances received from the utility, the ANC is to all intents and purposes quite concerned that these acts may be the deliberate actions of some within Eskom for political ends,” he said.
He called on Eskom leadership to account and provide “unequivocal” answers on the current state of power supply. He said Eskom was not being transparent.
“It is also a direct affront to the ANC’s commitment in our manifesto to ensure safe and reliable electricity supply to our communities,” he said.