Black Business Council slams lack of action on energy crisis
Indecisive leadership of the president and the cabinet ‘continues to paralyse the country and its economy’, CEO Kganki Matabane says
The Black Business Council (BBC) has sharply criticised the government for its “lack of urgency” in dealing with the persistent national energy crisis that has seen power cuts stepped up to stage 6.
The BBC was responding to a cabinet statement on Wednesday, which said it was “still deliberating” on a briefing by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan about the capacity of Eskom and a progress report from the technical committee of the national energy crisis committee.
Eskom has implemented power cuts on more than 100 days this year and has warned of more to come as it battles with an ageing fleet of mostly coal-fired plants that are prone to breakdowns.
“The BBC is disheartened that the cabinet met for the entire day only to issue a statement that they are still in discussion,” CEO Kganki Matabane said on Thursday. “We view this as government being run through public relations trying to create an impression they are doing something while actually doing nothing to resolve blackouts.”
Matabane said the council “noted with dismay and disappointment the lack of urgency by government to deal with load-shedding.
“The indecisive leadership of President Ramaphosa and his cabinet on the matter of energy security continues to paralyse the country and its economy.”
The government’s focus should be on stabilising and improving the performance of the existing fleet of Eskom “as this is the only technically sound and proven method” that can end blackouts,” Matabane said.
“The obsession with technologies that do not provide baseload, such as solar and wind, will not solve load-shedding, as evidenced by Germany and other European countries reviving their coal-powered stations,” Matabane said.
He again called on Ramaphosa to “immediately fire the incompetent and non-performing board, CEO and COO of Eskom, who are more focused on promoting solar energy instead of fixing Eskom”.
Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said the government regretted the intermittent load-shedding and an announcement on the crisis would be made soon.
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