Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 23 November 2010 – Newly-appointed public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba, says massive investment in maintenance is absolutely critical for South Africa to take the country’s economic growth to a higher trajectory to provide reliable services in the generation, transmission and distribution sectors of the electricity industry.

 The speech was delivered on behalf of the minister by Simphiwe Makhathini, chief director: energy at the Department of Public Enterprises here at the Reliability & Maintenance Week conference and exhibition. Until tomorrow a large Eskom delegation and other South African industrial giants, municipalities and mines are meeting to tackle the country’s challenges in maintaining, upgrading and ensuring continuous reliability of physical assets and human resources.

The minister said that there was a pressing need for enhanced monitoring, mechanisation and information management in order to improve the reliability of power supply. “Management must prioritise these facets to ensure that the end-user receives service of the highest quality,” he added.

Minister Gigaba emphasised that state-owned enterprises played a critical role in the different economic sectors of the country and in support of government’s developmental agenda. Government was committed to support the SOE and other industries such as the electricity distribution sector to ensure security of supply of electricity to South Africans.”