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Cabinet throws its weight behind plan to unbundle Eskom

That’s in the wake of a week of blackouts that seemed to take everyone from analysts to government itself by surprise.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cabinet has issued a statement reiterating the enormous importance of securing South Africa’s energy supply.

That’s in the wake of a week of blackouts that seemed to take everyone from analysts to government itself by surprise.

R100m spent on diesel a day to keep lights on this week

Cabinet has explained that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan briefed it on the latest round of blackouts when it met on Wednesday, acknowledging the disruptions have had an immeasurable impact on South African households and the economy.

Cabinet says South Africa’s energy supply remains “absolutely imperative” and the current situation at Eskom poses significant risks to the country, its financial stability and the economy.

It’s thrown its weight behind the plan to split the utility into three separate entities.

“The strategic unbundling of Eskom into three separate wholly state-owned entities – generation, transmission and distribution - is required for the long-term sustainability of the power utility and the country,” the statement said.

To address the situation, President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom comprising the ministers of public enterprises, energy, finance, transport, intelligence and police.

Deputy President David Mabuza will lead the committee.

“This committee will deal with matters of Eskom daily and deliver daily reports to the President on what actions need to be taken to secure energy supply. The team is expected to meet with all stakeholders to help restore stability to the grid and chart a way forward whilst ensuring that there is minimal economic cost to the consumer and taxpayers.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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