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EFF calls on Ramaphosa to remove Gordhan, dissolve the Eskom board and fire de Ruyter and Oberholzer

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately remove Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, to dissolve the Eskom board and fire the power utility’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) André de Ruyter and its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jan Oberholzer in the wake of continued loadshedding.

De Ruyter and the Eskom management team on Wednesday briefed the media to provide an update on the challenges at the entity’s power system.

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De Ruyter clarified that there is a difference between the term blackouts which is widely used in the media and the term loadshedding, with the former term meaning a total power outage.

De Ruyter further said Eskom is on track to lifting loadshedding by 5am on Saturday. De Ruyter and the Eskom management team are expected to provide another update on Thursday.

Watch Wednesday’s briefing courtesy of the SABC:

On Tuesday, Eskom announced that loadshedding would be reduced from stage 4 to stage 3 until Friday 5am and thereafter to stage 2 until Saturday morning.

The EFF said on Wednesday that “the unethical” and “incompetent” Gordhan should be removed “for failing to provide political leadership to stabilize Eskom and ensure” that electricity supply is dependable.

The red berets said the Eskom board should be dissolved because it has failed “to provide strategic guidance to lead” the entity’s management team.

The party said de Ruyter and Oberholzer should be axed for their “blatant incompetence”.

The EFF accused Gordhan of “colluding with capital to bring chaos to state-owned enterprises [SOEs]” so that they would collapse “so that they can be sold to his handlers for a penny”.

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The EFF said under Gordhan’s leadership, the financial and management crises at SOEs are deepening without a clear plan to rescue these entities.

The party accused the current Eskom board of prioritizing “the interests of Independent Power Producers who are a direct competition of Eskom”.

“The EFF maintains that de Ruyter’s continued unfettered powers are part of a racist project led by Gordhan to collapse Eskom to rationalize privatization of South Africa’s most important strategic assets to control future political dynamics through undemocratic means,” the party said.

During Tuesday’s media briefing, de Ruyter dismissed claims that Eskom is being purposefully collapsed so that it can be privatized, saying these are “wild conspiracies” with “no credibility”.

Read the EFF’s full statement below:

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