'Welcome to SA': 9 key quotes from Gordhan's load-shedding briefing

19 March 2019 - 14:21 By Nico Gous

South Africans will remain in the dark for at least the next 10 days regarding just how long load-shedding will last.

This will remain the case until public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom provide feedback on the matter, which they say could take 10-14 days.

The comment came during a press conference in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

Gordhan was flanked by Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, CEO Phakamani Hadebe and COO Jan Oberholzer.

Here are the nine key quotes from the briefing:

  • Gordhan on load-shedding: "It’s going to be huge struggle ahead of us to actually overcome this crisis."
  • Gordhan on how long load-shedding will last: "The direct answer to that question is that we need to complete these investigations and that we will come back to you in the next 10-14 days in a similar forum and equally frankly tell you where do we stand on the particular challenges we have."
  • Gordhan on solving the problem: "We understand the frustration. We don’t have a magic formula. This not about whether Pravin Gordhan or Jabu Mabuza or Phakamani Hadebe single-handedly have a magic wand that can actually enable us to wave that wand and say load-shedding is over."
  • Gordhan on the various task teams looking into Eskom: "Human beings, as you all know, are very easily capable of group think. All of us spending enough time together, we'll begin to think the same way and it's very important from time to time to get somebody else to take a look at what the problem is and to give you feedback … My favourite analogy here is that every morning every one of you looks at the mirror. Why? Because the mirror gives you feedback about whether you're wearing the right colours, whether the tie is straight, whether something is wrong. Maybe you forgot to put on one or another cosmetic or whatever the case might be, but that applies to men these days as well, so feedback is very important."
  • Gordhan on the importance of getting Eskom right: "We don’t want to remain in a vicious cycle where one form of load-shedding leads to another set of economic problems, which leads to other problems. We want to shift from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle."
  • Gordhan on how long it will take to get Eskom right: "We’ll get it right in the next year or two."
  • Hadebe on power station maintenance: "About 10 years back, the maintenance was roughly about R37bn or so. That has since decreased to about R10bn. In dealing with the current challenges that we are facing, we are putting in another R7bn."
  • Gordhan on the "clear patterns" state capture left behind: "Change the minister, change the CEO, change the board - but the other pattern is move money towards capital expenditure, and that became the pool from which looting happened."
  • Gordhan answering a question from an American journalist: "Welcome to South Africa. I think we are a lot less noisy than the US at the moment. We have far less crises than the US at the moment and fortunately we don't govern through tweet[s] as well."

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