South Africa: Sona2019 - Ramaphosa Uses His Reply to Answer Internal Critics Over Eskom Restructuring

Top: Eskom Megawatt Park. Bottom-left: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Bottom-right: President Cyril Ramaphosa (file photo)
analysis

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the strained public purse will cough up to help stabilise the ailing Eskom, but kicked for touch to next week's Budget on the details.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's reply to the parliamentary debate on his State of the Nation Address (SONA) was focused on answering in-house criticism by the governing ANC that his address last week had been too business-focused, and that the Eskom restructuring was tantamount to privatisation.

It was a misstep by a president whose fleetness of foot has allowed him to take the lead on the political dance floor.

Just hours after the National Mineworkers Union (NUM) publicly stated it could no longer guarantee its members would vote ANC -- "If the ANC proceeds with the unbundling of Eskom without taking all stakeholders along, it is going to cost the party," it said in a statement -- Ramaphosa moved to reassure ANC alliance partners.

In his reply to the parliamentary debate on his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said Eskom's unbundling was "not a path to privatisation. I repeat, it is not a path to privatisation". He emphasised that it was the start of addressing the structural challenges of an...

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