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Buying Eskom makes no investment sense for private business, says Alec Erwin

Alec Erwin was addressing former President Kgalema Motlantle’s Inclusive Growth Forum when spoke out against the privatisation of Eskom.

Eskom offices at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin has spoken out against the privatisation of Eskom.

Erwin was addressing former President Kgalema Motlantle’s Inclusive Growth Forum in the Drakensberg when he explained that the purchase of Eskom would not make investment sense for private business.

He said even globally, there are no major energy systems being bought by the private sector due to several factors including the maximum 60-year life span of major energy systems.

“An energy plant has a life of 60 years, maybe more, it’s not possible that in a modern, capitalist, market based system, socialist based mixed system like China – nobody can predict for 60 years.”

Meanwhile, the Congress for South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) wants the entire board of Eskom to be fired after it says the board has shown it is not able to deal with the power utility’s problems.

The tripartite alliance partner says board chairman Jabu Mabuza, who is also acting chief executive officer (CEO), has proved that he is not fit for the job.

That the beleaguered power utility has lost R21 billion this year.

While the Eskom has been able to keep the lights on for now, it seems it is struggling to manage its books.

Eskom lost R21 billion this year and is projected to lose R20 billion in 2020.

This is despite the billions in bailouts the power producer has received from government.

Additional reporting by Bonga Dlulane