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LETTER: Eskom revival should start with prosecutions

State would do well to act on its August 2020 anti-corruption resolution by quickly establishing a Chapter 9 integrity commission mandated to prevent, combat, investigate and prosecute graft

14 JULY 2022 – 20:38

One can only hope that the anticipated presidential announcement in relation to addressing the shortcomings in SA’s power supply will take a suitably holistic approach to Eskom’s ever longer and more frequent “load-shedding”.

The president has recorded his understanding that economic growth will not occur in the absence of a reliable and sustainable electricity supply. Another precondition for economic recovery, and of relevance to the consequences of state capture for Eskom, is that there should also be reliable and sustainable integrity in any process designed to achieve the much-needed growth in the economy via a more consistent supply of electricity.

Those who have plundered Eskom need to be held to account, not only in respect of the loot they have stolen but also in the courts for the crimes they have committed against the people of SA by seeking to capture and repurpose Eskom to their own greedy ends.

Those still eying Eskom as a soft target for further corrupt activities ought to be deterred by a solid commitment to reform of the state’s the anti-corruption capacity. Sabotage, intimidation of Eskom staff, and illegal strikes aimed at crippling the utility need to be addressed with what the president once called “concomitant action” in another context.

The appropriate concomitant action now would be to announce that cabinet is acting on the August 2020 anti-corruption resolution of the ANC by fast-tracking the legislative process required to establish a Chapter 9 integrity commission mandated to prevent, combat, investigate and prosecute serious corruption in all its forms. Doing so would help Eskom back to its feet. It is also an appropriate response to the Zondo report on state capture.

Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now

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