TLU SA feels the time has finally come for the state to privatise Eskom.
Eskom admitted in parliament on Wednesday – amidst Phase 4 loadshedding being implemented for the first time ever – that the company is technically broke. If the same trajectory of management is followed, come April the company will be at its end.
The debt of the country’s only energy supplier stands at about R420 billion and with no light in the tunnel (a loss of R11,2 billion for the financial year 2018/19 is expected) the debt will grow to R650 billion within the next three years. In the previous financial year, the company showed a loss of R2,3 billion.
The income currently generated by Eskom is not even enough to pay running costs and interest on outstanding debt.
This is a very serious threat to the country’s economy. There is a very big chance that Moody’s Investors Service will downgrade South Africa to a rubbish state soon because of the dire situation.
“The only solution now, is to privatise Eskom,” says Louis Meintjies, President of TLU SA. “The privatisation of Eskom will relieve the impact of incompetent municipalities and supply of electricity. The time has come to give private institutions the right to generate, distribute and manage electricity.
“Farmers and other businesses simply cannot afford to be ham shackled by the unreliable supply of electricity on the one hand and the uncertainty of investment and export opportunities on the other.
“If privatisation does not happen very soon, the whole of South Africa – farmers, businesses and individuals – should prepare to do business without electricity.
“Seen against the culture of corruption and poor financial management known in state institutions, TLU SA is of the opinion that privatisation is now the best solution.
“In the past ten years Eskom had as many chief executives. Corruption, fraud and the influence of state capture brought the credibility of the company into disrepute.
“We urgently appeal the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan to keep up his selfless stance against corruption, fraud and the undermining of progress of the country.”