Parties concede Mabuza’s “failure” following Eskom resignation

Political parties reacted positively to the resignation of Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza, calling the decision a show of accountability; although one party believes he should not be the last to resign if Eskom is to be fixed.

Mabuza's resignation was announced on Friday evening, after he wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza acknowledging that Eskom failed to honour its commitment to the highest office in the country to avoid loadshedding until 13 January.

A statement from the African National Congress lauded Mabuza's resignation as a demonstration of accountability and responsibility by a parastatal executive tasked with fiduciary duty to institutions of state in the public interest.

"The ANC further notes that Mr Mabuza states as the reason for his resignation Eskom's failure to fulfil an undertaking made to President Ramaphosa and his Deputy President David Mabuza…to keep the national electricity supply stable and ensure there will be no load-shedding until mid-January 2020," the party's statement said.

The ANC statement said the country’s state-owned enterprises would continue to be drivers of socioeconomic development and must be given the capacity to fulfill their critical developmental role. 

"In the resolutions we noted that firm action is required to improve the governance and performance of SOE's by ensuring the appointment of skilled staff and qualified board members, and to protect them from improper interference," the statement said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters was a lot more critical of those responsible for the financial and operational recovery of Eskom, saying that Mabuza's head should not be the last to roll before Eskom is saved.

"The EFF welcomes the resignation of Eskom Chair Jabu Mabuza and calls on Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to follow suit. Mabuza's resignation at the power utility is long overdue. He has demonstrated complete incompetence and absolute ignorance about energy and Eskom in general," the EFF statement said.

The EFF statement accused Gordhan of demonstrating "empty arrogance" and putting state assets in a dire state in an attempt to justify their privatisation.

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