President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated in parliament that the restructuring of Eskom into three entities is not the path to privatising the cash-strapped power utility.
“It is not a path to privatisation, I repeat, it is not a path to privatisation, but it is rather a move towards stemming the need for power cuts and increasing investor confidence”, Ramaphosa told the House in Cape Town on Thursday, 14 February 2019.
The president was responding to a debate on his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly in the Mother City.
As of Thursday, 14 February 2019, the country was in its fifth day of rolling power outages.
Several opposition parties and trade unions believe the unbundling would lead to massive job losses but the President said the unbundling of Eskom was aimed at aligning it with international best practices to achieve efficiency.
This restructuring was but one of the strategies aimed at turning around the heavily indebted parastatal (state-owned firm) from red to black in the books, he said.
He added: “Restructuring is intended to ensure security of electricity supply for the country which is critical to building on the positive investor sentiment and confidence essential for investment required so sorely so that we can create jobs”.
Ramaphosa revealed plans in parliament to unbundle Eskom into generation, transmission and distribution last week.
The country’s unions, however, are totally opposed to the restructuring plan, saying this would lead to job losses at Eskom.