As the debate around the unbundling of Eskom continues, independent power producers (IPP) have been lambasted for adding a financial burden on the utility.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said IPPs would benefit relatives of the president and the ruling party. During the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address in parliament yesterday, Malema said the EFF would fight any privatisation of Eskom and ensure no relatives benefitted from its privatisation.
The EFF leader echoed an accusation by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) that Ramaphosa was pursuing privatisation and inclusion of IPPs because Patrice Motsepe, the president’s brother-in-law, and members of the ANC elite, were making money from the project. Numsa was challenging the government’s signing of agreements with IPPs in court.
The union rejected Eskom’s request for a 17% tariff increase – 45% percent over three years. “Eskom can produce electricity cheaply, at less than 50c per kilowatt hour through coal, but it is pursuing this disastrous project because Motsepe and members of the ANC elite are making money from the project,” Numsa said.
Malema said the party would oppose any attempt to privatise the power utility.