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Eskom defends govt decision to bring in external engineers to probe crisis

On Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament a panel of experts will be roped in to investigate what caused seven generating units to collapse at the weekend, leading to a blackout.

FILE: Eskom building. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has defended a decision by government to bring in external engineers to investigate the crisis at power stations.

On Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament a panel of experts will be roped in to investigate what caused seven generating units to collapse at the weekend, leading to a blackout.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger has welcomed the decision: “Eskom has excellent engineers, amongst the world’s best engineers. There are always opportunities to include other employers from other parts of the world.”

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi says that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan must prove that he's explored and exhausted all options within South Africa before bringing in international experts to resolve the issues at Eskom.

Losi was speaking in Durban on Wednesday on the sidelines of a nationwide march against unemployment.

The federation says that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been sabotaged by executives at Eskom and is questioning the timing of renewed load shedding just days after the State of the Nation Address where he announced that Eskom would be unbundled.

Losi says that it is not sustainable to continuously bring in help from other countries.

"Now Minister Gordhan says that for this they've looked all over the country and they can't find anyone who possesses these skills, if he can prove that there's no one and as a result the alternative is bring in these people can we have a programme that when these people are here and they are going to bring in South Africans who are going to look into it and what these people are doing [sic]."

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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