Wed. Jun 26th, 2019

“Shortage of electricity is a sign of growth” – says David Mabuza at National Assembly

david mabuza eskom national assemblyDavid Mabuza responded to questions in the National Assembly today.

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Naturally, David Mabuza decided to try and spin one of the most talked about issues in the country, the Eskom crisis.

During his session, he answered questions around youth unemployment and the coming 4th Industrial Revolution, yet his answer to questions around electricity supply probably stripped any credibility he might have had.

Mabuza said that the shortage of electricity is a sign of growth, and explained that in the past, electricity was only supplied to small sections of the population.

Today, it’s provided to most South Africans, supposedly, and somehow that equates to growth?

John Steenhuisen asked Mabuza if he knew that “one of the basic requirements for any industrial revolution, is electricity?”

The power supplier is at the centre of the national debate. The lack of reliable power supply is one of the major stumbling blocks to sustained growth of the economy and the number of reasons for the problems there are seemingly endless.

Eskom is, in short, a stuff up of monumental proportions and we probably still haven’t learnt the full extent of the crisis. The failings at Eskom seem inextricably linked to the continuing narrative of corruption.

With the Guptas, Brian Molefe and who knows who else at the heart of a dark period in South African history where the Eskom golden goose was thrown on the braai so that a few could feast.

Read – Land reform: David Mabuza prioritises “emerging black farmers”

The economy may have grown, but all the growth that may have happened has happened despite Eskom’s inadequacy to provide the service they exist to provide.

The cost in lost investment due to the load shedding over the last decade is too depressing to consider, not to talk about the impact electricity tariff increases have had on inflation and consumer spending.

Electricity coverage has been expanded, but that has nothing to do with how Eskom went from making a healthy profit and generating excess power to now being an anchor holding the South African economy down.

So no, David Mabuza, there is no silver lining to the Energy crisis in the country and had the men and women at Eskom done their job perhaps you’d have to say less about youth unemployment too.

Watch: National Assembly, 27 February 2019

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