26 March 2008

IOL: Erwin defends Eskom

South Africans would have found electricity far more expensive in 2009 had Eskom not increased tariffs in the current financial year, Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin said on Tuesday.
Responding to parliamentary questions during a National Council of Provinces sitting, Erwin said Eskom would have been plunged into financial difficulties in 2009 if the price of electricity was not increased.
This would have forced Eskom to increase tariffs at higher margins to compensate for massive losses the power utility would have suffered, Erwin said.
He also defended the government's decision to provide Eskom with a R60-billion-rescue package, saying the power utility needed the funds to accomplish its electricity expansion generation programmes.Eskom's current financial challenges, had they been allowed to be prolonged, would have triggered a chain reaction that would have seen its credit rating plummet.
This would have made it difficult for the power utility to raise capital from the credit market, Erwin said. - Sapa
IOL: Erwin defends Eskom
So, instead of letting the parastatal, who is receiving R60b from the government for new power stations (despite them having squandered their previous profits instead of improving and maintaining infrastructure) and a substantial increase in fees, suffer a little, you are willing to destroy the entire economy. Because, the funny thing is this:
Increasing the cost of electricity will have a wide-reaching impact on every single person in this country. It will increase the cost of food. The cost of transport will be affected, as will the cost of every single other basic item required to live. The poor will be the ones suffering most, even if they do not pay directly for power. Well done, ANC, for breaking every single promise you have made to those who voted you into power, and voted to keep you in power.
In fact, my humble opinion is that, within five years (yes, around 60 months) the middle class will have disappeared completely, and this country will only have the fat cats (because there will obviously be benefits for some in this situation) and those who can hardly afford bread.
And, I suspect that government will grant this increase, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it mutes their conscience. They (the government) have admitted guilt in this debacle, but, instead of taking the side of the populace, they have taken the side of Eishkom.
It completely breaks my heart, because this is not the desired state of affairs and it doesn't have to be like this. Unfortunately, however, we have idiots making decisions on our behalf, despite warnings from those who do actually know.
The worst part of this for me is that the people keep putting these dunces into power. And those who were not put into power at the word go, get to be in power due to floor-crossing (which I still believe is the biggest slap in the face for anyone believing in democracy).
And, dare I say it, but I fear that our government learnt all the wrong lessons from Zimbabwe.
Now playing: Barry Adamson - What It Means

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