Eskom mess requires independent technical enquiry media statement issued by the President of the United Democratic Movement (30 January 2008)

The UDM notes with scepticism the latest reasons, excuses and promises regarding the electricity crisis emanating from Eskom and Government. The story keeps changing and new promises are offered, but the only constant is a deepening electricity crisis.

First we were told the problem was with Koeberg. Then we heard it was 'sabotage'. Then we were told a part was needed from abroad. Then we were told it was due to coal shortages. Then winter peak usage was blamed. Now in summer we are hearing about wet coal stocks. The excuses never end.

The public is sceptical about this sudden crisis which follows right on the heels of Eskom's latest tariff increase request being turned down.

We need an independent enquiry manned by a panel of experts, who are not beholden to Eskom or Government to investigate and identify the real problems and reasons for this crisis. Only a staggering level of incompetence or outright deception can explain this continuous stream of excuses for the crisis. No more! We need answers so that we can fix the problem.

As for calls to President Mbeki to fire the responsible Ministers and senior officials, those are wishful thinking. Mbeki has demonstrated time and again that he will remain loyal to those he appoints even as they directly contribute to his downfall.

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