BUILDING A NEW ESKOM
08 FEBRUARY 2019 – In the State of the Nation Address (SONA) last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa made the commitment that this administration will safeguard, build and sustain state-owned companies in the interest of our country, our economy and for the benefit of future generations.
A set of immediate interventions were announced to transform the structure of Eskom in order to avert further deterioration of the utility’s operations and its finances. Further interventions will be announced in due course.
The first priority is for the Minister of Public Enterprises to meet the Eskom board and determine a detailed roadmap to give effect to the SONA interventions.
The public consultation process with stakeholders, and in particular with organized Labour, must also commence as soon as possible.
On this aspect President Ramaphosa was unequivocal: “As we address the challenges that face Eskom we will ensure that there is meaningful consultation and dialogue with all key stakeholders.
“We will lead a process with labour, Eskom and other stakeholders to work out the details of a just transition, and proper, credible and sustainable plans that will address the needs of all those who may be affected.”
Given the importance of Eskom to the economy, it is crucial that all stakeholders – including market analysts – allow the respective organs of government to work through the institutional processes that will unfold between now and 20 February 2019, (and beyond) when the Budget is presented to Parliament.
The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the National Treasury and the Presidency will work closely with the Eskom Board, which will have the prime responsibility to steer the implementation of the new Eskom structure and business model.
To Eskom employees, Minister Pravin Gordhan had the following message:
“This is a great moment for Eskom. We were given the political leadership to transform this institution into viable, sustainable, dynamic energy provider for South Africa, well into the future. We must become partners in shaping that future, as we go forward.”
Statement issued by Ministry of Public Enterprises, 8 February 2019