South Africa: As Battle for Eskom Goes Nuclear, Pravin Gordhan Is Once Again the Target


Political pressure is building on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take some sort of action against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan -- to either fire him or to move Eskom to Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe's department. It appears there are multiple contradictory motives for these calls. But it also demonstrates that the political power the Eskom crisis has may well make or break political careers, and South Africa, in the next 12 months.

A growing group of organisations with different constituencies and interests intensified their demand for action against Pravin Gordhan since the turn of the decade. They range from the Economic Freedom Fighters (who claim that if Gordhan is not removed, they will disrupt Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address), to National Union of Mineworkers (Numsa), through to Cosatu (and its affiliated union Nehawu), and the ANC Women's League leader Bathabile Dlamini.

It seems obvious that these groups want different things.

The EFF wants to put pressure on Ramaphosa because its leaders have an ancient enmity with Gordhan, the sparks of which date back to his role in taking five Limpopo departments into administration nearly 10 years ago.

Numsa wants to protect its members' jobs at Eskom and its calculation...

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