At an investor conference in Johannesburg, President Cyril Ramaphosa told private sector dignitaries that at the centre of Eskom’s problems, is its bloated labour infrastructure.
As reported by SABC News, Ramaphosa held engagements with more than 200 business representatives from the private sector, at the Goldman Sachs Investor Conference, on Wednesday.
Cyril Ramaphosa addresses investors
The event came right after the African National Congress (ANC) reclaimed its authority at the polls, ushering an apologetic Ramaphosa back into the seat of power.
A plea for another go at it
First on the agenda was, of course, a tone of reassurance from the president, who urged investors to allow the ANC-led government time to atone for its past errors and implement new measures to speed up economic reform in the embattled country.
“We have to embark on the reforms, speed up on them … We are going to ensure that the certainty that investors want is there,” he said.
Reassurance on Eskom frailties
He also addressed concerns around the functionality of the state parastatal, Eskom. The power utility could barely get us through the Autumn season without instituting rotational power outages.
Shortages in coal supply and the advent of maintenance issues in most of their power plants have exacerbated matters at the power utility.
Ramaphosa revealed that at the centre of its problems is the lack of proper management. He explained that the power utility’s bloated labour force was an issue that had to be addressed.
Ramaphosa wants engagements with labour unions
Expecting backlash from labour unions, the president noted that he would be in touch with workers’ unions and figure out a way to overturn things at Eskom without disruptions.
On the topic of privatisation, Ramaphosa stated that while the power utility is not going to be privatised, there is a willingness to collaborate with businesses in certain areas.
“We want to make our economy more attractive investors… through ensuring policy certainty and implementing the necessary reforms,” he said.