Carol Paton Writer at Large

Trade unions, the pro-nuclear lobby, discredited former Eskom staff and the Zuma fight-back brigade have joined forces to campaign against independent power producers (IPPs), which they claim are responsible for Eskom’s financial crisis. The anti-IPP campaign is the new anti-Ramaphosa proxy battle, and it has complicated and poisoned the environment at Eskom, where the government, management and trade unions must attempt over the next month to strike a bargain over Eskom’s restructuring. The restructuring into three separate state-owned businesses involving a generation company, which will own the power plants; a distribution company which will own the poles and wires; and a transmission business, which will own and manage the national grid, is a critical part of the government’s strategy to defuse the financial and operational risk posed by Eskom to the economy. The campaign forced a response from energy minister Jeff Radebe on Sunday, who issued a lengthy statement refuting the ce...

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