Anyone who thinks Eskom’s problems can be solved within months or even a few years is naive and delusional.
The power utility’s slide from internationally admired institution to financial wreck has been inexorable over the past two decades. This happened despite numerous warnings from various quarters, dating as far back as the mid-1990s.
Lack of leadership, lack of management skills and especially lack of infrastructure maintenance has brought us to the current state of affairs, and Eskom is not going to be miraculously turned around in a short period. Under the previous president’s protection the enterprise was stripped of the above-mentioned requirements, while the Guptas and their henchmen systematically emptied the coffers.
For the trade unions and certain factions within the ANC to now blame President Cyril Ramaphosa and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan for the mess smacks of political point-scoring. The trade unions are probably more concerned about their members being retrenched as part of any restructuring, especially with Gordhan at the helm, than they are about turning the enterprise around, because they know government cannot afford to let Eskom fail.
They should rather focus their efforts on addressing the prevailing culture of non-payment for electricity, which is a huge contributing factor to Eskom’s woes. I say stop the political interference and give the new team a fair chance to save the ship.
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