EFF guns for Gordhan after Jabu Mabuza quits Eskom

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. File photo.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

The EFF has welcomed the resignation of Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza - but is now calling for the head of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

The presidency confirmed on Friday that Mabuza had resigned from the Eskom board after apologising for failing to keep the lights on until January 13.

“Mabuza’s resignation at the power utility is long overdue. He has demonstrated complete incompetence and absolute ignorance about energy and Eskom in general,” the EFF said in a statement.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the resignation was not enough.

“The minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan must also follow and resign. He too is at the centre of the confusion, incompetence, paralysis and the lack of direction suffered by Eskom,” he said.

If Gordhan did not resign then President Cyril Ramaphosa must fire him, Ndlozi added.

He said none of the state-owned enterprises were working under Gordhan’s watch.

“No-one, in the past 12 months in the cabinet, has been as complete a failure as Gordhan has been. He has also demonstrated empty arrogance, putting state assets in a dire situation in an attempt to justify their privatisation. In this regard, he is also completely dangerous,” said Ndlozi.

Meanwhile, the ANC lauded the resignation of Mabuza as a demonstration of accountability.

“The ANC further notes that Mr Mabuza states as the reason for his resignation Eskom’s failure to fulfil an undertaking made to President Ramaphosa and his deputy president David Mabuza in their capacities as president and deputy president of the Republic of South Africa; to keep the national electricity supply stable and ensure there will be no load-shedding until mid-January 2020,” said ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.

He added: “Eskom plays a critical and strategic role in the South African economy and it is essential that the Eskom board be stabilised as a matter of urgency. Energy security is the single biggest threat to economic growth which requires urgent and decisive action.”

In a statement, the presidency said Gordhan had accepted Mabuza’s resignation from the position he had been in since 2018.

“In his resignation letter Mr Mabuza apologised for Eskom’s inability to meet the commitment it made to the president, the deputy president and the relevant ministers at a meeting on 11 December 2019 to avoid load-shedding over this period,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko.

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