Ramaphosa must publicly support the Eskom board’s plan to ditch BEE

Please find attached a soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP.

The DA welcomes the refreshing and honest comments from Eskom Board Member, Mteto Nyati, who this weekend agreed with the DA that we need to relegate the ANC and Government key economic policy positions to the scrapheap of history. This follows after Cabinet also last week embraced the DA’s policy to “ditch” cadre deployment.

Mr. Nyati’s views that race-based empowerment (BBBEE) rules “that hamper Eskom’s performance will have to go” is a profound statement and acknowledgement that BBBEE is nothing more than a rent-seeking scheme to advance the politically connected within the ANC.

They vindicate the DA’s long held position that onerous BBBEE requirements at Eskom were significantly pushing up the procurement bill and shutting out critical skills needed to improve operational efficiency. Eskom is an entity that is currently in ICU and for the ANC government to continue insisting on heavy doses of failed empowerment policies is not only ridiculous but a sure way to destroy what’s left of the entity.

On Government’s flagship localisation policy, Mr. Nyati is equally scathing in his views saying, “when the supplier of equipment is an international company… you have to use middlemen to satisfy the localisation rule”. He went on to state that this only adds to cost pressures for Eskom saying “there’s no place for those kind of practices now.”

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, is still refusing to remove onerous red tape that is standing in the way of increased investment in the electricity sector. His insistence on retaining the 35% local content requirement, instead of removing it completely, is a case in point.

On employment equity, Mr. Nyati did not mince his words when he said “we need to be focusing on who is the best person for the job… regardless of how they look.”

The DA supports Mr. Nyati’s views that the only way to turnaround State Owned Enterprises and our faltering economy, is to ditch failed ANC economic policies that seek to advance those connected to the governing party.

There is no doubt that Mr. Nyati and Eskom will come under immense pressure in the coming days after his public comment, and has already started on social media. The DA therefore calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to publicly come out in support of the Eskom board’s determination to ditch ANC ideology in an attempt to save Eskom.