ANC to benefit from Eskom tariff hikes - statement by the UDM President (21 January 2010)

The ANC must rid itself of shares in companies that benefit from public contracts. It creates a conflict of interest that quite simply leads to bad governance and corruption. We now have a situation where Eskom’s plans are not possible unless they fleece the public with massive tariff increases. And we have a ruling party that stands to benefit to the tune of billions of Rands if Eskom continues with these plans. It is a preposterous situation.

This type of behaviour could explain the lack of foreign direct investment. Whilst the ANC seems unconcerned, foreign investors view South Africa with trepidation because of the unspoken expectation that business partners and contractors have to be aligned to the ruling party. This undermines the economy and job creation.

As far as Government bailouts for ESKOM are concerned, the cabinet is compromised by its links to the ruling party, as is the Board of Eskom who is appointed by Government. We have concerns regarding NERSA’s ability to deal with this conflict of interest.

The UDM therefore calls for Parliament to intervene and appoint an independent judge to assist NERSA and strengthen their hand to consider the entire ESKOM situation and all the implications for the economy and the public.