ESKOM has now sunk to a new low and ordered a communication blackout after sidelining its public spokesperson Andrew Etzinger and ordering contractors not to talk to the media. The joke is that this new development comes less than a month after CEO Tshediso Matona promised complete transparency with regards to the ongoing power crisis.
h3. Contractors threatened
Etzinger was removed as spokesperson last week while contractors told the newspaper that they had been ordered to remain silent on any problems at the Medupi and Kusile power stations. Into SA learned that seven contractors said they had been issued with confidentiality agreements that could result in them being fired if they spoke out. Three European contractors said that any hint of a breach would see them “on the next plane home”. However and as expected, ESKOM’s new spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe denied that government and ESKOM representatives had taken over communication duties, just the proof for waht was anticipated: the new spokesperson is just the latest Government Puppet to broadcast their lies and cover-ups.
h3. Matona Lies
This new development comes on the back of rolling blackouts that plunged the country into darkness last week. It also comes exactly two months to the day after Matona went public to say the country is not experiencing a power supply crisis. Maybe you remember: “There is no crisis at ESKOM. I think the way ESKOM gets reported on creates the perception of a crisis,” Matona told reporters in Johannesburg on 8 December last year.
He said further the power utility needed financial stability and additional power to make sure electricity supply was reliable. “We sell electricity below cost compared to other countries. We have spoken about this before… It is a matter of policy implementation, which we do not do ourselves.” ESKOM did not anticipate implementing its stage three schedule of rolling blackouts again this month, he said, referring to the December blackouts that plagued the nation. He said at the time that electricity supply was expected to be constrained in February and March because of budgetary constraints …. as all the funds have been used to pay Matona’s Bonus in December??
“Our financial director is looking at options in this regard,” he said adding that the power supply would depend on the availability of diesel during the period. However, this week ESKOM blamed the latest outages on a shortage of generation capacity as several units are currently on unplanned outages due to technical faults. Really? Unexpected? This statement would not even come from a brain-dead onlooker. Every technical equipment needs maintenance, especially powerstations. For years it was recorded that powerstations failed to meet their maintenance intervals and operate far above recommended capacity.
h3. Appeal to Matona
Mr. Matona, how much lower are you willing to sink? How many lies are still to come? Keep your – undeserved – bonus and leave, but do so quickly and hand over ESKOM to people, who actually mean what they say and use their knowledge to restore what was once a proud power producer!!