DA accuses Gordhan of ‘conveniently’ pinning load shedding on striking workers

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said the country was subjected to stage 6 load shedding, for the second time ever, due to unlawful strike action at its plants.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan arrives at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria on 26 November 2018 to lay criminal complaints against EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Sabotage and the recent labour unrest have been placed at the centre of the latest Eskom power cuts, but opposition parties in Parliament are not convinced.

They said the labour force should not be made a scapegoat for Eskom's woes on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said the country was subjected to stage 6 load shedding, for the second time ever, due to unlawful strike action at its plants.

But opposition parties have placed the blame solely at Gordhan’s door.

Democratic Alliance public enterprises spokesperson Ghaleb Cachalia said unions - Numsa and NUM - were not responsible for all the problems currently plaguing Eskom adding that it was a convenient excuse for Gordhan.

“You can’t just scapegoat labour. That’s a convenient excuse at the moment and there might be some truth to it. There are as I pointed out a host, a plethora of other issues which actually must be placed at minister Gordhan’s feet and he must address this."

He said South Africa’s joint security structures should urgently address incidents of sabotage.

Meanwhile, GOOD Party Member of Parliament Brett Herron said South Africa was captured by a monopoly that could not deliver on its mandate.

He further called for diversification in the energy sector and the introduction of an independent supply of power.

Herron said Eskom’s real crisis is a failure of skills and leadership, adding that the country could not afford the merry-go-round of unsustainable excuses.