SACP blames independent power producers for 'destroying' Eskom

13 February 2019 - 18:38 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
The SACP claimed that corruption was behind the Eskom crisis.
The SACP claimed that corruption was behind the Eskom crisis.
Image: Times Media

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has laid the blame for the ongoing crisis at Eskom on what they term the "corruption of corporate capture of the state".

The party has called for action to be taken against those who looted the power utility and for dodgy payments to be recovered.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the SACP said the introduction of independent power producers (IPPs) to Eskom has had a negative effect on the state-owned company. It argues that the IPPs are destructive to the power utility, which is already in debt to the tune of over R400bn.

"This model does not build Eskom but has contributed to its financial crisis. In other words, the model was designed to milk Eskom and use the money lost by Eskom as a subsidy for the profit of the private companies, the so-called IPPs, for wealth accumulation by their individual owners," said the SACP.

"The privatisation of renewable energy generation through the destructive IPP model is a typical example of building the private sector and promoting private companies by means of measures that destroy publicly owned productive assets.

"Eskom did not receive any ownership, in full or in part, of any the IPPs which it has been financing. This must be addressed retrospectively. As the SACP we want Eskom to become a premier producer of clean and renewable energy, instead of being destroyed among others by the parasitic IPP model."

The SACP called for localised production within the state-owned utility, including of renewable energy. This, the party said, would create enough jobs to keep the current Eskom workforce employed and to create new jobs.

"While working on ensuring that the transition to clean and renewable energy becomes just and successful, we must simultaneously resolve the problems of coal supply to Eskom," the party added.

"It is unacceptable that the coal that we need to support Eskom is mined in our country for export markets for private wealth accumulation. The SACP is therefore calling for legislative measures to ensure that the coal of South Africa first and foremost looks after our national energy security and other development imperatives."