'There's no division': Ramaphosa on Jabu Mabuza's Eskom resignation

10 January 2020 - 20:57 By Qaanitah Hunter
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is no “schism” between himself and deputy president David Mabuza over the load-shedding crisis at Eskom.

He was addressing guests at an ANC gala dinner in Kimberley, shortly after the presidency confirmed that Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza had resigned.

The deputy president told the media on Thursday that the Eskom board and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan had misled them about there being no load-shedding until January 13.

Ramaphosa appeared to throw his weight behind his deputy on Friday night.

“Let me assure you that there is no schism between what the deputy president said and what the president has also said in the past. There is just no schism whatsoever,” Ramaphosa said.

He said Mabuza resigned after apologising for Eskom having not fulfilled the undertaking the parastatal made in December that there would be no load-shedding between December 9 and January 13.

“He said he has to take accountability, much as there were risks in making the undertaking to us,” Ramaphosa said of the resignation.

“This obviously is a sad moment for all of us, but at the same time we must carry on,” Ramaphosa said, adding that he thanked Mabuza for his service.

Gordhan is expected to announce an interim leader and new board in due course.

Ramaphosa further endorsed his deputy, saying Mabuza would continue leading the government’s intervention in Eskom.

“The deputy president will continue to lead the process to ensure we do reach stability in Eskom. Through the war room he is going to continue leading, with other ministers,” he said.

Ramaphosa said load-shedding was an enormous concern for all South Africans.

“Eskom ... now holds the fortune of our country and its people in its hands,” he said.