Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise has declined the DA's request to debate Eskom's financial crisis, the party said.

This comes after DA MP Natasha Mazzone in May, announced the DA's intentions to write to the speaker requesting a debate by the newly sworn in sixth Parliament to address the power utility's financial woes. "The South African taxpayer, already burdened with rising electricity costs and flatlining economy, cannot be expected to keep pouring billions of rands into the Eskom blackhole, even as evidence continues to mount on the entity's terminal decline," Mazzone said at the time.

In a statement issued by the DA on Sunday, Mazzone reiterated that South Africans are paying for "years of state capture, corruption and poor management" at the power utility which has a debt burden over R400bn.

"Eskom has kept our economy down on its knees - with unacceptably high levels of unemployment and job losses due to episodes of rolling blackouts, we cannot let the Eskom threat to our economy continue unabated," Mazzone said.

"The utility is the single biggest threat to our economy, therefore, Parliament must use its mandate to perform oversight and debate the true extent of rot at the entity," she added.

SA's public enterprises: Millions wasted and almost no permanent CEOs

Some economists attributed the 3.2% contraction of the economy in the first quarter to load shedding which was implemented by the power utility earlier this year due to capacity issues at power stations.

"There is no straightforward or easy way of dealing with the Eskom crisis, however a debate on solutions that will rescue the power utility cannot wait for a time of our convenience or else it will be too late," Mazzone said.

Eskom recently announced that its CEO Phakamani Hadebe had resigned, due to the demands of the job impacting his health, Fin24 previously reported.

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