The country’s pension fund managers said they will oppose any move to force investment in state-owned companies. Earlier the ANC announced in its 2019 Election Manifesto that it will investigate ways of using portions of pension funds for socially productive investments, like state owned entities such as Eskom.
Opposition party the Democratic Alliance says is welcomes the decision by the managers to reject the plans. The DA’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone says Eskom poses “the biggest threat to the economy and is drowning in debt. Yet the ANC wants to use the hard-earned pensions of ordinary South Africans to rescue this already sinking ship, along with other ailing state-owned entities (SOE).
Mazzone emphasised that the power utility is rated at sub-investment grade, which means that investors have lost all confidence in Eskom, “leaving the utility struggling to borrow money. It therefore came as no surprise that the ANC government is again looking at ordinary South Africans to foot the bill for its failures in managing the SOE.
“This desperate move by the ANC is similar to the tactics employed by the National Party during apartheid and it is evident that the ANC has no plans to turn things around,” says Mazzone.
The DA has now called on the ANC to work with opposition parties to find turnaround strategies for the ailing utility. “It is clear that the DA is the only party with a plan to fix Eskom, unlike the failing ANC.”
The DA’s plan for Eskom was introduced in the party’s ISMO Bill, which seeks to break Eskom into two entities: one for generation and the other dedicated to power transmission. The power-generating division will compete with its independent counterparts on an equal footing, ensuring efficiency, stability and competitive prices.
The DA says the ruling party does not want to fix Eskom but rather make South Africans pay by going after their pension funds. This is happening while the country is plunged into darkness due to load shedding.