Don't privatise struggling Eskom: SACP

JUNE 1, 2015

The South African Community Party (SACP) has announced its opposition to the proposed privatisation of struggling power utility, Eskom, by some sectors of the economy. 

In a press statement, following the SACP's three-day Central Committee meeting in Johannesburg, the party said separating power generation from transmission would compromise the ability to effectively manage South Africa's electricity network.

"Apart from any ideological considerations, selling-off parts of Eskom at this time when the global market value of energy producers is at rock-bottom and when, in the case of Eskom, any private buyer would benefit both from a low price and the future fruits of the current massive Eskom infrastructure spend," the statement read.

It said that privatisation would also result in significant increases in the cost of electricity for households and industry.

The SACP said the current financial challenges facing Eskom are not impossible to overcome adding that it supports an approach where Eskom takes on more bond debt, rather than selling off equity, because doing so would compromise the strategic management of Eskom in the public interest.

It also called on government to deal decisively with the plundering of Eskom resources by the private sector suppliers of coal and diesel with the help of some Eskom staffers.

"The SACP calls on government, in line with the ANC’s NEC lekgotla resolutions, to clearly reaffirm the central role of Eskom in any future energy build, including nuclear, as well as the importance of Eskom remaining active in the field of alternative energy sources," it said.