The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has demanded the resignations of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the entire Eskom board over the load shedding crisis.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the party said the crisis is a result of Eskom’s “incompetent leadership” and Gordhan’s “interference.”
The state power utility has been implemented stage 4 load shedding for several days now. On Monday, it briefly escalated it to an unprecedented stage 6.
‘Greedy capitalist establishment’
Eskom blamed heavy rains that caused coal handling issues as well as flooding at Kriel power station. A further technical fault at Medupi power station compounded the problem.
The party said, “The EFF believes that the Eskom leadership of Jabu Mabuza and Pravin Gordhan are deliberately sabotaging Eskom so as to build a case for privatisation of electricity.
“The EFF is aware that the current Ramaphosa administration is working with the greedy capitalist establishment to undermine the power generation of Eskom so that they can later sell power stations to the capitalist establishment.”
It called for the appointment of a team of engineers and experts, “including those who have ended load shedding before,” to develop a maintenance plan for Eskom’s power stations.
It further demanded a discontinuation of renewable energy independent power producers (IPP) agreements because “they add no significant value to South Africa’s electricity needs.”
EFF also spoke against the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to unbundle Eskom into three entities – generation, transmission and distribution.
“We demand that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa must develop some courage and act against incompetence and sabotage because the people who are involved in these are doing so in his name and to benefit his private funders,” the party added.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa cut short his visit to Egypt on Tuesday to return to South Africa to deal with the Eskom crisis.
The Presidency confirmed that he will meet with Eskom’s management team on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa came under fire for going ahead with the visit just hours after Eskom announced the escalation to stage 6 of load shedding on Monday.