Privatising Eskom beneficial to SA economy
BusinessTech.co.za - Aug 6th 2014, 12:59
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it welcomes the mooted partial privatisation of Eskom, the under-fire state power utility.
It follows a report in Business Day on Tuesday (5 August), citing a number of unnamed Cabinet Ministers and government officials, who advocated for the unbundling and partial privatisation of Eskom.
“The DA has always advocated for the privatisation of electricity supply generation, and the unbundling of Eskom’s supply monopoly,” the political party said in a statement.
“It would be hugely beneficial to our economy. It would take financial pressure off the state by getting private investors to help fund electricity supply generation.”
“It would also increase efficiency in the sector by introducing competition. And as the industry grows, it has real potential to also create a large number of jobs, particularly in the renewable energy sector,” the DA said.
Lance Greyling, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, and Natasha Michael, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, jointly called on the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill to be brought back and finally passed by Parliament.
“This is only the first necessary step in reforming our electricity sector and it is imperative that a comprehensive end state vision is developed for the sector that we can all work towards realising,” they said in a joint statement.
The DA noted that the Bill, first announced during the President’s State of the Nation address in 2010, and which he subsequently supported in his most recent state of the nation address, was debated and passed by the full energy committee in 2013. Ministerial interference has prevented it from being debated and passed in the House in Parliament’s previous term.
The party added that supporting the ISMO Bill on the one hand yet dragging its feet on implementation in the House, amounted to nothing more than double-speak.
“This is yet another example of ideological confusion and policy paralysis in the tripartite alliance. It is clear for all to see that South Africa desperately needs private players to assist in this industry. A number of Ministers and government officials reportedly agree,” the DA said.
It pointed to the out-dated statist tendencies of the SACP and COSATU – “for blocking this crucial reform from taking place”.
Eskom remains under severe pressure to rollout its capacity expansion programme and to service its debt, while blackouts continue to affect the country sporadically.From 2014 Copyright, BusinessTech. All right reserved.
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