JOHANNESBURG- The African People’s Convention (APC) has blasted the Eskom board calling it an “irritation” and is calling for its removal as the uncertainty over continuous blackouts in South Africa persists.
The continent’s most-industrialized economy has in recent weeks been hit by severe power cuts in more than a decade.
The APC, one of the smaller parties with representation in the national legislature said the situation is unacceptable as the party believes the provision of electricity by the state plays the most important central role of the state in the fight against poverty.
APC president, Themba Godi said: “We express our irritation and mire at the disturbance as a result of Eskom ongoing disruptive load shedding and how the crisis has been handled. We would like to highlight that ordinary citizens, as well as the small business sector, have been inconvenienced and affected adversely by this mismanaged energy crisis.”
The situation worsened last week after Eskom lost its electricity imports from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric system in Mozambique, which contributes more than 1,000 MW to the South African grid, after a powerful cyclone.
The APC is now demanding the removal of the current Eskom Board and firing of its two main Executives; the CEO Phakamani Hadebe and the COO Jan Oberholzer.
“They should be replaced with highly competent capable industrial managers with proven experience of running industrial plants, proven industrial complex operations engineers, proven energy experts, energy plant operators and power utility infrastructure specialists,” Godi added.
The party also insist on the inclusion of Unions and Civil society organisations saying it’s imperative on the new incoming Eskom Board.
The APC president said further “We explicitly oppose and do not support the unbundling of Eskom. One thing is very clear: Eskom unbundling is nothing else but privatisation of electricity generation of the country. We are totally opposed to any scheme that will retrench workers and we urge the government to stop IPPs Power Purchase Agreements contracts with Eskom.”