The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) slammed Eskom and it’s shareholders, after Stage 2 load-shedding was announced early Wednesday morning.
They had extremely hard words for the ailing state-owned entity which was shared in a statement issued by COSATU, Wednesday evening. They slated the power utility for “haemorrhaging” money. This, in part, relates to the besieged power utility having incurred debt in excess of R400bn and suffering a net loss of R21bn in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Last week Eskom chair and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza painted a gloomy picture of Eskom’s finances, saying management was hard at work to revive as much of the entity as possible. Cosatu has called the standard of leadership at Eskom “mediocre”, and further noted that load shedding is said to have contributed to the contraction of the economy by 3.2% in the first quarter of the year. That is devastating. And it’s no surprise that the rand fell sharply to the dollar, as soon as it was announced that Eskom will be implementing load-shedding. In their statement released to the media on Wednesday night, COSATU further stated:
“The announced load shedding flies in the face of the commitment made by the Minister of Public Enterprises to the Presidential Working Committee meeting at Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council) a mere week ago that Eskom is on top of the situation,”
COSATU called for a pubilc forensic audit of all expenses of Eskom, including all coal supplier contracts. There was further criticism for the appointment of board chair Jabu Mabuza as acting CEO, calling the appointment “illegitimate”, and saying the decision had “contributed to the erosion of trust in the power utility”. Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that soon, government will announce a new deal to assist Eskom deal with it’s debt crisis. This announcement will be made soon and would appease ratings agencies.