POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Failures at state-owned entities to dominate week once again
Eskom, SABC and Sars likely to upstage gender violence demonstrations and the DA’s 2018 government review
The parlous state of affairs at many state-owned entities — not least the crisis at cash-strapped Eskom — is likely to continue to dominate the headlines this week.
In November, the troubled power utility started load- shedding for the first time since 2016.
DA MP Natasha Mazzone said on Sunday there are many reasons for the power failures South Africans are being forced to endure, ranging from state capture and a lack of coal to allegations of irregular tenders and Eskom’s reliance on companies that have not provided the services they were contracted for.
“The underlying problem, regardless of the current crisis, is that the structure of Eskom inevitably needs to change. Eskom has proven it is incapable of delivering power to South Africans within its current operational model,” said Mazzone.
The SA Federation of Trade Unions echoed the sentiment, saying South Africans are paying a “terrible price for years of corruption, mismanagement and incompetence, and will continue to do so for years to come unless there is a drastic overhaul of this vital public utility”.
The embattled SABC will also be in the spotlight. The public broadcaster sank deeper into crisis on Thursday following the resignation of a fourth director, which has left the broadcaster’s board inquorate.
The resignations came in the wake of a scathing letter by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams in which she accused the non-executive directors of not acting in the best interests of the public broadcaster as they pressed ahead with retrenchments.
Tom Moyane and the SA Revenue Service (Sars) will also be back in the news, with judgment expected on the axed Sars commissioner’s bid to get his job back. Moyane launched an urgent high court application in November to reverse his firing and block President Cyril Ramaphosa from appointing his successor.
On Monday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and chief whip John Steenhuisen will present the party’s 2018 government review — a comprehensive assessment of the performance of the ANC-led national government. The party’s candidate for premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, will visit Schaapkraal to discuss crime and safety in the community; he will also visit the Kampies informal settlement.
Also on Monday, the SA Human Rights Commission will release its report on trends in human rights violations in SA. The report provides an analysis of human rights violations over the past five years.
To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Right2Know will picket outside various Western Cape police stations on Monday to raise concerns about the manner in which cases of violence against women and children are dealt with.