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Ramaphosa to answer on Eskom's failures!

Ramaphosa will be answering oral questions in the National Assembly where IFP MP Narend Singh has asked him questions on energy supply in the country.

Last week the Eskom board suspended four top executives to get to the bottom of the troubles at the state-owned entity. Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi is yet to outline the terms of reference for the three-month probe by a lawyer.

The board suspended chief executive Tshediso Matona, finance director Tsholofelo Molefe, head of capital Dan Marokane and head of technology and commercial Matshela Koko.

The suspensions came after the utility has been struggling to supply power and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she had been frustrated by not getting information from Eskom on its plans.

Eskom has a funding gap of R250 billion and it recently got a government cash injection of R23bn.

While Singh has not directly asked Ramaphosa about Eskom’s troubles in detail, it is expected to arise in follow-up questions from other MPs.

Ramaphosa was tasked by President Jacob Zuma last year to oversee three troubled state-owned enterprises including Eskom, South African Airways (SAA) and the South African Post Office.

Singh has asked Ramaphosa if he has convened meetings of the advisory council on energy since last August. The IFP MP also wants to know if load shedding will continue in the foreseeable future.

Eskom has implemented load shedding in the past few months as it struggles with electricity demand.

Some of Eskom’s problems have been blamed on ageing infrastructure and unserviced power stations.

The three coal-fired power stations – Medupi, Kusile and Ingula – have battled to come on stream due to delays.

Medupi’s unit 6 came on stream a few weeks ago after months of delays, due to strikes at the construction site and cost overruns.

Since his appointment to oversee Eskom’s turnaround Ramaphosa has not given detailed feedback, and MPs are expected to use the session to get answers. The private sector has warned of the impact of continued blackouts on their businesses.

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