To say that the lack of stable power supply poses a severe socio-, economic- and security risk to South Africa, is an understatement.
Eskom’s continuous disruptive and unstable power supply is holding South African employers, and the public alike, hostage.
Thinking that the resignation of the utility’s CEO is somehow the answer to years of corruption and skewed transformation policies that have run Eskom into the ground in the first place, is simply denying the Eskom reality; a reality found in every one of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises and governmental institutions.
Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer, André de Ruyter, and Chief Operating Officer, Jan Oberholzer’s hands were tied from the outset. They were appointed to turn around an institution severely crippled and hollowed out by Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and Employment Equity (EE), which paved the way for procurement fraud, tenderpreneurship, cadre deployment and a general lack of work ethics.
There is simply not sufficient skilled and dedicated manpower to solve the problem. Also, with widespread prevailing vested interests, there is zero political will to bring about fundamental change.
The full extent of the domino effect of Eskom’s woes on society is going to be disastrous. The sooner government starts offering businesses sufficient incentives to go off the grid, the better.
Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers' Association of South Africa (NEASA).