The DA calls for Eskom’s diesel purchase terms to be released immediately

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to demand the release of the terms of agreement of the so called ’emergency diesel’ for Eskom. This follows Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan’s non announcement yesterday about the scramble for diesel at Eskom in a bid by the failing ANC government to keep the lights on until the May elections.

In a matter that remains a subject of a Hawks investigation, the ANC government is said to have contravened due tender processes when it sold its entire strategic fuel reserve, around 10 million barrels of crude oil at a significant discount to the price at which the commodity traded at that time. The failing ANC government saw fit for the country to expose itself to depleted oil reserves.

Reports now indicate that Eskom’s chairperson, Jabu Mabuza disclosed that Eskom had approached PetroSA with an emergency request for diesel and spent an amount to the tune of R4.5 billion in just six months for diesel, far exceeding their current financial year budget for diesel which is R666 million.

In addition, the DA recently petitioned President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report, which found that South Africa forked out R14.5 billion for Eskom’s ‘self-created emergency coal’ during the first round of rolling blackouts in 2008. Considering the rank mismanagement and corruption that has gripped Eskom over the past decades, we cannot allow the ANC government to hide the full details of the diesel contracts. South Africa needs full transparency about where the money to secure diesel is coming from, what the terms of the agreements are and whether the procurement processes were followed. The absence of said information would only cement the perception that there is Bosasa type corruption.

The purchasing of diesel at this scale does not solve the Eskom crisis and South Africa cannot afford Eskom’s spending an estimated billion rand a month on diesel just for a temporary solution that will not prevent us from the impending collapse of the power grid.

So desperate is the ANC that it has now resorted to spending billions it does not have in order create to create a false impression that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. The truth is that Eskom is on the verge of collapse and these temporary measures will not prevent the inevitable. South Africa is facing a dark and cold winter after we have been misled by this government until the 8th of May.

The DA has long proposed to Ramaphosa and the ANC to adopt its long term solutions to South Africa’s energy crisis, which by all indications has a potential to collapse our economy.

The DA will continue its find for an accountable, stable, competitive and functional energy sector that will benefit all South Africans.