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Eskom sponsorship must be withdrawn - DA

Eskom sponsorship must be withdrawn - DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Eskom to retract its sponsorship from next week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland after CEO Tshediso Matona yesterday announced that the state-owned parastatal can no longer guarantee a constant flow of electricity, citing a lack of maintenance as the reason for the country’s power crisis.

“Sponsoring international events that have nothing to do with solving South Africa’s electricity crisis is a completely unjustifiable expense at a time when Eskom is broke and holding out the begging bowl to South Africans to fund their mismanagement,” DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Michael, said in a statement of the party’s website.

“It would be complete hypocrisy for Eskom’s CEO to announce yesterday that it’s on the immediate brink of bankruptcy and its infrastructure is fast collapsing, while simultaneously sponsoring a global event in Switzerland. Who are Eskom trying to fool by playing up to an international audience when in their own backyard they are creating the conditions for an economic shutdown?”

Michael also said that Matona’s time would be better spend at Eskom’s Megawatt Park head office trying to find a solution to the country’s “impending energy meltdown”, than attending the forum.

“South Africans cannot be expected to live in the dark while Eskom executives live the high life in Switzerland,” she said, adding that party will submit questions to Parliament about the cost of the trip and value of the sponsorship if Motana refuses to cancel.

In his statement yesterday, Motana said that the back log in maintenance has resulted in Eskom all but exhausting its reserve power supply and that around 5 000 megawatts would be needed in order to carry out repairs without implementing load shedding.


CAPTION: Eskom's Camden Power Plant in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. IMAGE sourced from www.eskom.co.za