Unless one is living in another planet, the unending woes that Eskom is facing are indicative of two things – palpable lack of capacity or inability to utilise its resources prudently.
Whatever it is, it is clear that the parastatal has been taking its role as the custodian of the country’s power for granted, as most monopolies do (Multichoice comes to mind, though it is more efficient in the terms of service delivery).
Eskom’s current sorry state is not unique; other parastatals are not doing any better. Annually, the government has been throwing money at their perennial problems hoping they will be resolved but to no avail.
However, while has the luxury of delaying with making decisions on other entities, Eskom has a critical role as the supplier of electricity to all economic sectors. Thus, it has to be government’s top priority.
Possibly the wise move might be to consider bringing in new private sector shareholders; ideal suitors might be cash flush institutional investors with practical business experience in turning around the fortunes of institutions.
With a private company involved in the decision making process, problems with elementary infrastructure maintenance issues and poor management of coal and diesel inventory cannot be experienced.