Privatisation has long been an issue in the South African economy. It was one of the key issues debated in the 1980s as the worldwide trend towards privatisation took root.
There is an urgent need to grow the economy by 5-6% by the turn of the century, a need that government is partly addressing by restructuring state assets.
Historically, South Africa’s parastatals have in the main been operated by civil servants whose principles have not been business-driven. Efficiency was not a primary objective or concern.
There is no conceivable reason for keeping Eskom in the public sector. Even though it is being run efficiently, there is no reason for keeping Eskom in the public sector in the long term. Government can achieve the same social objectives and more through contracts with private sector electricity suppliers.