“The electricity crisis is entirely the fault of the ANC, no one else. For the moment it appears, there is still no strong enough desire to fix it. If that doesn’t change soonest, life in South Africa will turn dramatically worse.”
Licking the socket
As if the national power crisis gripping Eskom and everything it touches wasn’t bad enough, the ANC’s factions are keen to continue the standard operating procedure: bicker over who’s in control of what.
The target is, yet again, Pravin Gordhan. Long the thorn in Ace Magashule’s side, multiple calls from a variety of organisations have been made demanding the Public Enterprise minister’s removal, or Eskom’s transfer to Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s department.
As Stephen Grootes (Daily Maverick) explains, the EFF are threatening the upcoming SONA if he doesn’t go and the ANC Women’s League leader, Bathabile Dlamini, is also weighing in with all of her almighty expertise. Oh, and the unions want a piece of the pile as well.
Why it matters
If anyone not politically-connected had to list the top three problems facing Eskom right now, Pravin Gordhan would not appear there at all. Therein lies the problem. Political organisations in South Africa appeared to have started the new year running plays from the same book as 2019, as if the looming crisis that is approaching the country did not exist at all.
That the EFF, Numsa, Cosatu and the ANCWL would rather bicker over positions of power than address the very-real, very-Zuma-wrought problems at Eskom is a worrying sign. Credit ratings agencies, foreign investors, and the average South African are all watching political leaders to gauge what their response is. Right now, it’s yet another case of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.