South Africa: Eskom to Be Restructured, May 8 Poll Date Set and NPA Boss Gets a State Capture Investigative Directorate

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the annual State of the National Address, his second since the recall of former President Jacob Zuma in February last year.
analysis

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the restructuring of Eskom, the election date of 8 May, a reconfiguration of the intelligence service and the establishment of a State Capture investigative directorate in the National Prosecution Authority in what turned out to be a wide-ranging, hard-hitting State of the Nation Address on Thursday. In dismissing critics of this administration, Ramaphosa showcased the appointment of a new prosecutions boss, and the process towards a new tax boss, as lynchpin achievements after being in office for just a year. And, yes, Thuma Mina remains a thing.

Eskom will be restructured into three separate entities - generation, transmission and distribution - under the Eskom umbrella. That would isolate costs and enable Eskom to raise funding on the markets - rather than the tightly stretched national purse and R350-billion in government guarantees - and from other funders.

"It is imperative that we undertake these measures without delay to stabilise Eskom's finances, ensure security of electricity supply, and establish the basis for long-term sustainability," Ramaphosa told the joint sitting of Parliament.

The announcement was widely expected, but that it was made showed the urgency needed to fix energy supply without which economic and social development would be undermined....

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