The opposition South African Communist Party (SACP) has said that the unbundling of Eskom can be likened to “the behaviour of alcoholics who deal with their problem by drinking more alcohol.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced that the troubled and cash-strapped Eskom would be split into three separate units – generation, transmission, and distribution – in a bid to restructure its balance sheet and help it raise money on capital markets more easily.
Eskom is expected to post a US1.44 billion loss for the financial year to March from the $1.1 billion it forecast at the time of its mid-year results as a result of overall expenses widening during the period.
With its current load-shedding, the power utility faces the threat of collapse if it does not get a bailout by April this year.
The SACP said the discussion and proposals about saving Eskom from going under was mistaking the “right-wing and reactionary” idea of privatisation as the so-called solution.
“As the SACP, we want a holistic approach to the problem of the heavily indebted Eskom. The approach must be anchored in the objective of ensuring national energy security”, the party said in a statement.
It added: “While we cannot stand opposed to progressive measures that will improve the situation, save Eskom and ensure security of energy supply, there are principles that we wish to underline”.
The SACP said all proposed measures to restructure Eskom must be subject to consensus-seeking consultation and that it did not want hard working Eskom workers to be retrenched due to the envisaged restructuring.