Ramaphosa and Eskom hide dodgy diesel deals

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is not surprised to find that our demands for the release of the terms of agreement of Cyril Ramaphosa’s so called ’emergency diesel’ for Eskom has been denied. Last month, the DA submitted a request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) for Eskom to release copies of all diesel contracts signed with Eskom from 1 January 2007 to 3 April 2019.

This application followed Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan’s scramble for diesel at Eskom. The fact that the terms of Eskom’s emergency diesel deal is being obscured from the public is an indictment on the failing ANC, and only proves that the ANC and President Ramaphosa have something to hide.

The ANC’s secretive and lucrative diesel deals have been made carelessly, without fear or thought for future consequences. This is yet another desperate attempt by the failing ANC government to keep the lights on until election day.

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

So desperate is the ANC that it has now resorted to spending billions it does not have in order create a false impression that there will be light at the end of their 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 being misled by Ramaphosa, whose only plan has been to keep the lights on till the 8th of May. Considering the severe mismanagement and corruption that has strangled Eskom over the past decade, we cannot allow the ANC government to hide the full details of any of their diesel contracts, leaving us in the dark with regards to the security and future of our energy grid.

The DA, unlike the failing ANC, has long term solutions to South Africa’s energy crisis, and is willing to share these plans with the ANC. Unfortunately, rolling blackouts and the situation at Eskom are not deemed relevant enough to the ANC – they are blind to the fact that this is a crisis which by all indications has the potential to collapse our economy.

The DA will continue to fight to find the truth behind the ANC’s dodgy diesel deals. South Africa needs full transparency about where the money to secure diesel is coming from, what the terms of the agreements are and whether due procurement processes were followed.