JOHANNESBURG – As President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government continue mulling over the unfolding crisis at Eskom, former President Thabo Mbeki has placed blame for this and other problems, including the ailing economy, on a lack of quality leadership in both government and society.
Mbeki made the comments during his engagement with students and diplomats at Unisa on Wednesday.
The day also marked 14 years since he stepped down as head of state following an African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee decision to recall him.
The country has been hit with more bouts of severe power cuts, impacting on households and businesses.
Mbeki said that good leadership was the key ingredient to solving most of South Africa’s many challenges.
Without reflecting back on warnings he is believed to have received on the fate of Eskom, Mbeki said that it was important to understand what happened in the past at the power producer.
“When Eskom announces the reason we’re having level four or level five is because there’s a power failure at Medupi, Kusile and the old ones [power stations], why are the new ones behaving, or misbehaving, in the same way as the old ones?” Mbeki asked.
He once again decried the lack of a social compact, which he said was is key in addressing the legacies of colonialism and apartheid.
Mbeki also reiterated his questions about a social compact, emphasising that different sectors, as they had done in 2020 facing COVID-19, must join hands in seeking solutions to issues adversely affecting the country.