National Assembly passes the Special Appropriations Bill

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says to solve the challenges of Eskom, there is a need to apply a complex theory to find lasting solutions.

As the National Assembly approved the Special Appropriations Bill that brings the power utility a step closer to a bailout of R59 billion over the next three years, Mboweni said Eskom’s problems were not just financial.

There is a need to ensure that the correct people are hired to run it as it is a “business”.

“Some members speak of Eskom as it is some imaginary human being somewhere. But it is not. Eskom is a business. It is run by people.

“So one of the key issues we need to solve is by appointing the correct people to run Eskom. That is what we need to do.

“We must appoint the correct board of directors, we must appoint a competent management team. And we must then be in a position to hold the board of directors and the management team accountable for the operations of Eskom. The problem at Eskom is not just financial.”

“And if we are going to reduce a complex problem to the lowest common multiplier, being the financial problem, we are not solving the problem. We need to approach solutions to Eskom via complex theory, understand the complexity of the issues we are dealing with in order to come out with complex solutions,” he said.

After the debate, 105 MPs voted against the Bill being approved by the National Assembly, while 200 gave it a thumbs up, despite objections by the EFF, DA, ACDP, FF Plus, UDM.

“The Bill will be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence,” House Chairperson Cedrick Frolick said.

Earlier on during the debate, Mboweni said while it was easy for MPs to call for additional funding support for struggling state entities, they need to indicate where the resources will come from in a struggling economy where tax revenues have been on a decline.

“So when I hear members say Eskom must be funded, Eskom must be funded. Okay, I agree, but tell me where I should take the money from? There has to be a give and take. You can’t have everything at the same time,” said the Minister.

He said he had previously asked members of the political parties in the House to go to communities and mobilise the public to pay for services rendered.

“I repeat that message. Go mobilise your people to render unto Eskom what belongs to Eskom as a law abiding citizen of the country.” –