Financial services research firm, Intellidex South Africa, says last week’s emergency Cabinet meeting “missed the bar” in terms of aggressively addressing the Eskom crisis and reassuring investors.
The cabinet meeting came at the end of a week that had seen the implementation of unprecedented stage six load shedding, and President Cyril Ramaphosa cutting short his Egyptian visit to deal with the country’s seemingly never-ending energy crisis.
Intellidex released their strongly-worded statement Tuesday following a briefing by Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu on last week’s Cabinet meeting.
Mthembu announced several measures to tackle the energy emergency, including:
- incoming Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter be asked to start working ahead of the originally scheduled date of 15 January 2020,
- legislation to regulate biofuel energy, and
- the reintroduction of the Eskom ‘war room’ to tackle energy supply challenges.
These interventions failed to impress Intellidex, though, with the firm referring to the Cabinet meeting and its outcomes as an extension of a previous week’s meeting.
This, it’s statement said, “gave the unfortunate patina of spin to the whole thing.”
“A key opportunity was lost to turn sentiment, which would have been possible from more meaningful announcements. Instead we are left with confusion,” the statement said.
The statement indicated that Intellidex was puzzled how the reintroduction the Eskom war room – including Deputy President David Mabuza, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe – would immediately address the emergencies at the flailing utility.
“We are unclear what this adds – the capacity on energy policy is in Mineral Resources not Public Enterprises and National Treasury, equally it is only the minister of mineral resources and energy who can make determinations on energy procurement and other directions and rule changes we’ve laid out required from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.”
The statement added while the call for De Ruyter to start earlier was a positive move, this could create the impression that he could summon new and previously unheard advice on fixing the entity, which Intellidex said was unlikely.