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ESKOM’s Fix to Rest on Implementation, Funding, Political Will, Warns Ghaleb Cachalia

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Ghaleb Cachalia, has expressed strong concerns regarding the future of ESKOM, South Africa’s power utility corporation. Describing a recently devised strategy to revitalise the struggling power utility, he states its success will rely heavily on the implementation, the availability of necessary funds and the political will for its execution.

Germany-based energy consultants were recently commissioned to review South Africa's struggling coal-fired plants, producing a revival plan, which Cachalia believes can be an effective short-term solution if properly adhered to. However, he cautioned on potential barriers to success, citing lack of transparency, funds, requisite skills, and, markedly, lack of political will.

On a different note, Cachalia has questioned the sudden reduction in ESKOM’s maintenance schedule leading up to the election period. He has raised alarm bells on this, describing it as political interference. He insists that the public and industry deserve a transparent approach, an honest commitment to reviving ESKOM, and a dedicated execution of the revival plan without political games.

Time lost by the government due to indecisiveness on major decisions has added to the urgency of the situation, leading Cachalia to call for tighter control over ESKOM, firm decision-making, precise quantification of requirements, and action free from interference.

People suffering with irregular power supply, some having to survive on mere hours of electricity, has incited Cachalia's urgent plea for change. With the country currently experiencing Stage 7 loadshedding, he warns that if there isn't a quick turnaround, the economy and the people will suffer greatly.

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