Eskom can't be player, referee - Zuma

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says state-owned enterprises like Eskom are so riddled with problems that a serious review of the parastastals is necessary.

This, as the chaos that led to the resignation of both CEO Jacob Maroga and Eskom board chairman Bobby Godsell is still fresh, so do the shenanigans at Transnet and Denel.

"Certainly we cannot continue with them like that, it's a problem with the leadership and we are looking at that," said Zuma.

Speaking during an interview with the SABC broadcast on Sunday night, Zuma acknowledged that there was a crisis in some of the state-owned companies and said a review was needed to address this.

He referred to power utility Eskom as both a "player and referee" something he felt should not be allowed. "We are creating a situation that in this area of energy which is so important that a player must come in and participate so we don't have Eskom doing everything," said Zuma.

He said if Eskom was allowed to dominate the energy sector, the issue of tariff increases will become a regular feature. Eskom has come under constant heavy criticism over tariff increases.

Last year, it revised its tariff application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to 35 percent over the next three years from an initial request of 45 percent.

Zuma implied that there needed to be vigorous competition in the sector to avoid situations like this.