Deputy president firmly rules out privatisation of Eskom

Deputy President David Mabuza. Image: GCIS

Deputy President David Mabuza has told MPs that there are no plans to privatise Eskom.

“Government’s policy options and positions have not reached the point where privatisation is seen as an answer to providing better solutions to the current problems that are facing Eskom,” he said.

Mabuza was responding to questions for oral reply in the national assembly on Thursday.

He said government is working around the clock to make Eskom a more efficient and effective energy generation and transmission public entity with the necessary capabilities to ensure the security and consistency of energy supply.

The utility, he added, is in an advanced stage of unbundling, which will result in the transformation of the electricity sector.

“It would be inaccurate to characterise the current organisational transformation happening within Eskom as privatisation or implied intention to facilitate it.”

He said plant maintenance and performance have nothing to do with privatisation or public ownership of the utility.

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The unbundling of Eskom into into three subsidiary businesses — grouped generation, transmission and distribution — is designed to allow it to improve efficiency, create greater transparency around performance and protect against corruption. Eskom will have complete ownership of the new transmission entity, he said.

“Its primary responsibilities will include acting as an independent broker in the electricity market and fostering capital investment within the industry and catalysing energy efficiency and costs.”

He said the utility is on track to split its generation and distribution businesses by the end of 2022.