Political interference hampering Eskom, says board member


    CAPE TOWN – Political interference is blocking Eskom from acting against those who don’t pay, Parliament has heard.

    Municipalities owe Eskom R25-billion, and the figure is growing.The parastatal’s board appeared before Parliament’s Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

    Board member Busisiwe Mavuso told MPs it’s being curtailed from doing its job. Mavuso said politicians are to blame for the power utility not being able to rake in what’s owed to it.

    “If we were given the latitude to make decisions without political interference as this board, I will tell you what we’ll do, we will go to South Africans and say we need to load-shed at least for the next eight months,” said Mavuso. MPs said they were kept in the dark about the recent load-shedding.

    Acting CEO Jabu Mabuza apologised again, acknowledging communication could have been better.

    “It would not have been possible for us to say let’s wink and nod, let’s whisper to you and say just now we’re gonna go to load-shedding,” Mabuza told MPs. Eskom’s financial crisis is expected to feature prominently when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tables the mini-budget on Wednesday.