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Former presidents ought to assist, not criticise from the sidelines – Mantashe

Mineral Sources and Vitality Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Photograph by Moeletsi Mabe/ Sunday Instances/Gallo Pictures/

  • Former president Thabo Mbeki has taken a swipe on the nation’s present management in tackling the power disaster.
  • Minister Gwede Mantashe reckons such criticisms from former management are an “simple manner out” and do not assist clear up issues.
  • SA’s power disaster was led to by poor decision-making below Mbeki’s administration, however the present management will not make those self same errors, says Mantashe.
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Criticisms by former president Thabo Mbeki on South Africa’s present management in tackling challenges such because the power disaster do not assist clear up issues, in response to Mineral Sources and Vitality Minister Gwede Mantashe.

Throughout a dialogue with Unisa college students on Wednesday, marking the 14th anniversary of his resignation as president, Mbeki spoke frankly about the leadership deficiencies in the country.

“I believe we face a significant, main problem right here at house; it is a management problem,” Mbeki mentioned.

He mentioned the power disaster and its incapability to resolve it. Notably, throughout Mbeki’s administration authorities didn’t heed warnings of the approaching energy disaster and didn’t take steps to acquire new energy in time to keep away from load shedding.

Mbeki’s remarks did not go unnoticed. During a signing ceremony for three new wind energy projects – which can add much-needed era capability to the grid – Mantashe addressed questions on authorities’s dealing with of the power disaster and, extra pointedly, Mbeki’s criticism.

“The worst factor you are able to do as a pacesetter is to criticise your predecessor and successor. The issue with evaluating your self with a predecessor or successor is that you just seem to projecting your personal area as clear, and everyone else isn’t clear,” Mantashe mentioned.

He added that management that’s “retired” has a duty to help those that are at the moment in management.

Mantashe mentioned:

“The management I’m anticipating from my former presidents is that they’ll help the present president, grapple with points… It’s a straightforward manner out, it doesn’t speak to the issue we’re confronted with.”

The minister added that authorities would not make the identical errors it did up to now, which have introduced on the present power disaster.

Mantashe has previously levelled criticisms against Eskom’s CEO André de Ruyter. 

In an interview with the Mail & Guardian, Mantashe mentioned Eskom wants a “fixer” with technical abilities. He described De Ruyter as an “alpha” who joins an establishment after the fixer has achieved their work. “Eskom wants a fixer, an individual who focuses on what’s damaged, and [who will] attempt to repair what’s damaged, and as soon as she or he fixes it, strikes on. Then you possibly can have an alpha,” Mantashe mentioned.

However on the signing ceremony, he seemed to be taking a extra empathetic view of Eskom’s challenges – particularly the dearth of expertise amongst Eskom’s energy station managers. 

“We had a gathering with the era group of Eskom. We met each energy station supervisor in that assembly … nearly all of them are in that place for between one and two years. They’re comparatively younger,” he mentioned. “It talks to the expertise and extent of abilities [at Eskom].”

Mantashe mentioned that information acquired via training might solely be transformed to “actual ability” via its utility. Mantashe additionally expressed his help of a mentorship programme on the utility – the place experienced engineers can advise and help the utility’s current leaders. He added that upskilling administration capability at Eskom would leaves South Africa significantly better off.

He mentioned that appointing “good managers” at establishments is essential to keep away from errors. “If we’re systematic in upskilling the capability of administration at Eskom, we’d be higher off. We’d be significantly better off.”

Eskom just lately launched a crowdsourcing platform to search out the abilities wanted to take care of its myriad operational challenges.

“My very own view is we want a whole lot of help for Eskom and the present management. However the very first thing to assist them, is for them to just accept their shortcomings,” mentioned Mantashe. He mentioned it is a lesson that applies to authorities leaders too.

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