With Eskom facing myriad challenges that have affected its ability to meet demand, President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday detailed what needs to be done to get the power parastatal back on track.
The President was responding to the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly, which took place as Eskom implemented load shedding for the fifth day in a row.
With regards to an immediate plan to ease load shedding the President said that he was pleased with the willingness of some experienced technical professionals, who have the capacity to deal with the challenges that Eskom faces, to respond to the Thuma Mina call of coming back home to help.
He said in the immediate term, there is a need to intervene aggressively to ensure that load shedding is addressed.
“The teams assembled by the Presidency, the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Eskom Board need to prioritise the building up of an adequate electricity generation safety margin to ensure the national grid is restored to a state of robustness able to withstand the demands that will be placed on it by new industrial capacity enticed through the 2018 Investment Conference.
“We all need to agree on the roadmap with concrete actions in the short, immediate and long term to achieve an end state of an electricity secure country.”
Why is this call for experienced professionals to return to SA, potentially a bad thing?
Simple – they left the country for greener pastures as the result of their perception of a fundamental flaw within South Africa.
The reasons are myriad: employment prospects, racism, security are probably those highest on the list.
By ‘begging’ these people to come back we are sending a clear message to the world:
We do not possess the capacity or skills to fix our own problem and if those people returning are from the Northern Hemisphere AND not from Africa we are perpetuating the thinking that Africa is a basket case. On top of that we will be reinforcing a sense of shame and outrage in our own citizens when we pay them the big bucks to feel vastly superior.
A word to the wise (and not so wise): Fix the fundamentals in our country and soon.