Vavi: Corruption at root of Eskom load shedding

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Sapa)
Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Sapa)

Cape Town – Corruption was at the root of load shedding implemented by Eskom, former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday evening.

“Corruption, waste, and incompetence have contributed to the disastrous load shedding which has not only caused massive inconvenience but has major economic consequence,” Vavi said.

Vavi was speaking at the Alternative Information Development Centre in the build up to a national march against corruption on September 30 2015.

According to Vavi an unreliable power supply was a major deterrent to new investments and was threatening existing jobs.

In April it emerged that proponents of Eskom's black economic empowerment (BEE) procurement policies were among the state-owned power monopoly's biggest beneficiaries.

At the time energy analyst Ted Blom told the Cape Town Press Club that BEE suppliers to Eskom were “earning more than double the profits" that other suppliers were earning "with zero value added".

It also emerged how the utility appointed a dentist and a beautician to supply diesel for its generators.

Vavi said the connection between corruption and the failure to deliver basic services was glaring.

He said the education and health sectors were also suffering due to corruption.

“Children are being deprived of their right to education ... because tenders are fixed to enrich companies who bribe officials,” Vavi said.

Vavi accused tenderpreneurs of stealing money which was meant to buy life-saving medication for patients.

According to Vavi 350 organisations had endorsed the campaign for the march against corruption.

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