Call for PIC to use profits to in­vest in Eskom

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - SAMKELO MT­SHALI­[email protected]

COSATU in KwaZulu-Natal said profits made by the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC) through its in­vest­ments in do­mes­tic busi­nesses and those abroad should be used to in­vest in Eskom in­stead of us­ing work­ers’ pen­sion funds.

The trade union’s pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, Ed­win Mkhize, said they wanted Eskom to re­main un­der state con­trol and money stolen from the en­ergy sup­plier should be re­cov­ered by the gov­ern­ment.

“There’s a list of com­pa­nies in which the PIC has in­vested which are of no ben­e­fit to the work­ers, some of them are over­seas com­pa­nies. The money that must be in­vested in Eskom should not be the money that is sup­posed to go to work­ers when they re­tire, but in­stead use the profit that has been ac­crued by the PIC,” Mkhize said.

He said they wanted Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to be clear on how the gov­ern­ment in­tended to re­solve the prob­lems plagu­ing un­der­per­form­ing state-owned en­ti­ties (SOEs) such as Eskom and SAA.

Cosatu pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Skhum­buzo Md­lalose said that the gov­ern­ment should also ex­plore other op­tions to aid Eskom in­stead of bor­row­ing money from the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF).

“Cosatu has grasped the re­al­ity that Eskom is chal­lenged in terms of its ad­min­is­tra­tive arms with cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment. Those are in­ter­nal chal­lenges that Cosatu has ac­tu­ally looked into.

“Why doesn’t the gov­ern­ment ex­plore other av­enues other than going to the IMF be­cause once you go to the IMF, you must kiss Eskom good­bye. That is a re­al­ity that we are cur­rently talk­ing about in Greece. When they had prob­lems they ran to the IMF and to­day they are heav­ily in­debted to­wards the IMF, they can­not in­de­pen­dently ad­vance their own eco­nomic in­ter­ests as a coun­try,” Md­lalose said.

He said with Eskom al­ready ow­ing the PIC in the re­gion of R200 bil­lion, this debt should be part of the in­vest­ment by the PIC into Eskom. Md­lalose also said an­other op­tion would be to ap­proach the African De­vel­op­ment Bank and other sources to pay what Eskom owes.

“We are ex­plor­ing av­enues here, we are not going to the moun­tain and then throw­ing stones and then com­ing up with so­lu­tions. Some­thing has got to be done be­cause work­ers must in­vest in Eskom, work­ers must have con­trol in Eskom as we have al­ready said that work­ers must have con­trol in the PIC as part of the board,” he said.

He said that pump­ing PIC profits into Eskom would not amount to a bailout, but would be an in­vest­ment be­cause they wanted work­ers to have a stake in Eskom in order to de­ter­mine the di­rec­tion the power util­ity takes.

Md­lalose said that the col­lapse of Eskom would lead to the col­lapse of in­dus­tries and all sec­tors of the econ­omy.

ED­WIN Mkhize.

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