Thabo Mbeki attacks Eskom leaders
Former President Thabo Mbeki has delivered a veiled blow to Eskom’s leadership following protracted outages.
Speaking at the University of South Africa’s Muckleneuk campus in Tshwane on Wednesday afternoon, Mbeki quoted former General Statistician Pali Lehohla: “Eskom is a big company and therefore in terms of leadership you need engineers and economists, but instead we have politicians and accountants.”
“I’m not saying Pali was right, but that’s what he said. But he was thinking about this issue; I’m trying to improve the quality of leadership in our country,” Mbeki said.
“We face great challenges here at home, a leadership challenge…in government and in society at large” – Thabo Mbeki
— Queenin Masuabi (@Queenin_M) September 21, 2022
He questioned the shortcomings of the Medupi and Kusile power stations, which continue to fail despite being the newest power stations built by Eskom.
Earlier this year, while responding orally to questions from Members of Parliament, Vice-President David Mabuza said that although Eskom had made progress in identify design flaws in power plants and rectifying them, this process would only be concluded by the end of 2027.
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Mbeki’s criticism comes after residents and businesses suffered long hours without power during repeated blackouts. Eskom has placed the country on different stages of power outages from last week, with the power utility moving to Stage 6 on Sunday, which saw South Africans suffer six hours of power cuts a day, sometimes more.
Ironically, South Africa began experiencing blackouts in 2007 when Mbeki was president. In January 2008, Mbeki apologized for the offloading and said the government took “collective responsibility” for its failure to ignore Eskom’s warnings.
Learn more in Daily Maverick: “Waking up to Stage 6, now Eskom leaders are battling to fend off Stage 8 power cuts”
A Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa, put the electricity crisis at the top of the agenda. This followed a virtual emergency meeting on Sunday with several ministers to discuss how to resolve the energy crisis. The members of the National Energy Crisis Committee as well as the ministers responsible for supervising the structure were present at the meeting.
Learn more in Daily Maverick: “SA heading for ‘disastrous economic consequences’ – Updates and analysis on the latest blackouts”
After Wednesday’s meeting, Cabinet spokesman Phumla Williams said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan presented a briefing on Eskom’s capacity and a progress report from the National Committee’s Technical Committee. energy crisis.
JUST IN: The government has issued a one-page statement on the cabinet meeting held today to discuss the energy crisis. After the president canceled his trip to #UNGA in New York, the cabinet is still deliberating on the reports made by the Minister of Public Enterprises pic.twitter.com/kegZExCmFc
— Ziyanda N (@ZiyandaNgcobo) September 21, 2022
“The Cabinet regretted that intermittent load shedding is occurring as the government vigorously engages in the interventions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in July 2022 to overcome the surmountable energy crisis facing the country.
“In the meantime, the Cabinet remains committed to addressing the energy security issue in the country and welcomes the concerted efforts made by the government and stakeholders to find a permanent solution to end load shedding,” Williams said.
ramaphosa cut international travel short to return to South Africa and deal with the Eskom crisis. Ramaphosa met US President Joe Biden on Friday September 16, then flew to London before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral Monday, September 19.
He was due to return to New York after the funeral to attend the ceremony this week high level opening of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. But Ramaphosa spokesman Vincent Magwenya announced on Sunday that the president had changed his plans. DM