DA wants Parliament debate on Eskom

FILE PICTURE: Parliament.  Siyabulela Duda

FILE PICTURE: Parliament. Siyabulela Duda

The Democratic Alliance will ask National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Wednesday for a debate on embattled power producer Eskom.

DA spokeswoman Natasha Michael said she would argue for the matter to be placed on the National Assembly’s order paper for Thursday.

“The provisional schedule for tomorrow’s sitting is pathetic and will take all of 25 minutes to complete,” she said in a statement.

Eskom on Tuesday released its interim financial results for the period ended September 30, painting a bleak picture for the state-owned company’s liquidity.

Eskom’s six month year-on-year profit was reduced to R9.3 billion, with a projected year end profit of half a billion rand.

The power producer’s CEO Tsholofelo Matona warned that the company’s bleak financial situation, coupled with the operational problems resulting in recent power cuts, meant Eskom had “a crisis on our hands”.

“We know where the problems are… we know what some of the solutions are, but for the period ahead we are living on the edge,” Matona said.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she was privy to plans to turn the state-owned company around, following a government support package, including an equity cash injection of at least R20bn.

She would not give further details of the plan but warned that it would require “extraordinary effort” over the next three to four years from Eskom and others.

Michael said the Eskom matter was of urgent public interest and Brown should put all the facts before Parliament.

“It is truly shocking that at a time when the entity is facing its greatest, but by no means new, challenge that the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown is so evasive on the subject,” she said.

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