Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP.
The DA condemns the comments made by the new Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, in which he appeared to brush away legitimate concerns about corruption at Kusile and claim that “the challenges that we’ve had here (Kusile power station), these are technical problems, they have nothing to do with so-called corruption.”
Ramokgopa’s comments are not only reckless, they expose his real agenda which is to sanitise ANC corruption and absolve the criminal networks operating at Eskom from any responsibility. Ramokgopa should immediately retract his comments and explain how he plans to work with law enforcement agencies to root out corruption at Eskom, which is at the heart of much of the operational challenges that the entity is currently facing.
To make amends and prove that he is willing to fight corruption at Eskom, Ramokgopa should encourage his ANC comrades in Parliament to vote in favour of a DA resolution to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate allegations of systemic sabotage, corruption and looting at Eskom. South Africa needs to know who is breaking and looting Eskom – and importantly, how – even though everyone knows the ANC is at the heart of it.
Kusile and Medupi were the hotbed of industrial scale looting and corruption during the State Capture era. They continue to be at the receiving end of a marauding gang of criminals who have organised themselves into cartels to continue stripping the entity to its bare bones, if former Eskom de Ruyter’s allegations are anything to go by.
Ramokgopa has not inspired any confidence since his appointment because of his off the cuff comments that have left many wondering whether he will be another Mantashe or Gordhan. To the surprise of many, and despite all the work that has been done to break down the Eskom monopoly, Ramokgopa was recently quoted as saying that the unbundling of Eskom was not a priority.
This proves beyond doubt that Ramokgopa is just another cadre who was deployed, not to fix South Africa’s electricity crisis but to stop any work that was being done to reform the electricity sector. President Cyril Ramaphosa must reign in his appointee and assure the nation that the unbundling of Eskom, including reform of the electricity sector, remains on track.