South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Thursday, announced the government’s plans to restructure the ailing power utility Eskom.
During his State of the Nation Address on Thursday night, President Ramaphosa revealed that Eskom will be split into separate entities.
“We shall immediately embark on a process of establishing three separate entities: generation, transmission, and distribution,” Ramaphosa said adding, “This will be under Eskom Holdings.”
He acknowledged the fact that Eskom is currently facing a major crisis that could adversely affect the country’s economy as a whole. He said the bold and decisive action was necessary and some of the consequences would be painful.
“Eskom is in crisis and the risks it poses to South Africa are great,” Ramaphosa said, reported Eyewitness News. “It could severely damage our economic and social development ambitions. We need to take bold decisions and decisive action. The consequences may be painful, but they will be even more devastating if we delay.”
Reacting to the announcement, Eskom chief executive Phakamani Hadebe said the utility is very happy with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the company will be unbundled. He recommended that the power utility will need to increase revenue through affordable tariff increases and exercise strict control over costs.
The South African President also announced a special directorate to deal with prevailing corruption in the country. He noted that there was an urgent need to establish a directorate within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), citing the revelations emerging from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.
Ramaphosa said that he has already met with the new prosecutions head Shamila Batohi to discuss the corruption unit’s establishment which will deal with serious corruption and associated offenses. The newly announced directorate will identify priority cases to investigate and recover the assets identified as corruption proceeds.