Following comments made by Eskom board member Busisiwe Mavuso during a parliamentary committee hearing on Tuesday, the Institute of Race Relations has taken note of what it describes as her “worrying claims”.
Mavuso suggested that a “shareholder” is stopping the struggling energy utility from load shedding for political reasons.
“There are decisions that we know we have to be making as this board, but the shareholder quickly comes in and says that you can’t do that because it is politically inconvenient.”
The IRR, in a statement, claims “an Eskom-style collapse of healthcare, due to political interference and mismanagement, is a very real threat were the government [to] achieve its goal of implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI) policy.”
“The deadline for public submissions on NHI is 29 November and the IRR urges all South Africans to join it in its fight against a policy that will have disastrous consequences for everyone, and not achieve the goal of improved healthcare for all, least of all for the most vulnerable South Africans.
“The failure of Eskom results in damaging bailouts and load shedding. The real danger of the NHI is that it will result in life shedding. South Africans must use this opportunity now to say no to the NHI.”
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has called on Mavuso to be careful of her utterances.
On 702 on Wednesday morning, Gordhan said: “I think [Mavuso] has to be careful of what she says as a board member because she is part of a collective decision-making process and accounts to the shareholder, which is government at the end of the day.”
“We all have to make difficult decisions and one of the difficult decisions is whether we fire 16,000 people or not and a government that is responsible will not fire 16,000 people.”
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)