Pursuing the big tender

The ANC should accept that much of the fury related to the decision by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa to allow Eskom the average 25 percent electricity hike is based as much on family hardships as it is on the knowledge that the party is set to materially benefit from the increased tariffs.

The ANC should accept that much of the fury related to the decision by the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa to allow Eskom the average 25 percent electricity hike is based as much on family hardships as it is on the knowledge that the party is set to materially benefit from the increased tariffs.

This is not to say that those South Africans would have been happy with the hike if the ANC's front company, Chancellor House, did not have a stake in Hitachi Africa, the entity that is part of a consortium that has been awarded contracts to supply boilers to Eskom's two new coal-fired power stations.

Adding coal to this fire is the memory we have of ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa promising that Chancellor House would exit the deal and saying: "Corporate governance and good business practice are binding on all citizens of this country. No one is above this . This is the message we want to bring across."

The hike, coming as it does after a week in which the ruling party's youth leader was demonstrated to be living a lavish lifestyle paid for by tenders won from municipalities under the ANC's rule, leaves a bitter taste that goes far beyond the numbers that Nersa agreed we should pay.

While there might well be business and economic decisions for the hike, and while it is possible for South Africans to modify their lifestyles as a result of the hike, the ANC will have to ask itself some tough questions about why it allowed itself to become a party defined by the pursuit of the next big tender.

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