Maimane calls for parliament to reconvene over Eskom crisis

DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Trevor Samson

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to reconvene parliament urgently to deliberate on the country’s energy crisis.

Maimane says all political parties need to be present so that the constant blackouts that the country is facing can be urgently discussed and proposals be tabled.

“We have to ask all our members of parliament to recognise the problems that the country is facing," Maimane said. 

“I’d like to request that parliament be reconvened urgently to establish an ad hoc committee consisting with [members of] the committees of energy, public enterprise and trade and industry.” 

The opposition party’s request comes as the country has grappled with rotational power cuts for about two weeks and, as a result, businesses, schools and other industries have found themselves severely affected.

Maimane said the ad hoc committee on Eskom must be tasked with passing the ISMO Bill which seeks to break up the power utility into separate generation and supply entities.

Furthermore, Maimane said, the ad hoc committee must invite experts and industry stakeholders and summon the relevant ministers to come and make a presentation about previous steps they have taken to prevent the current Eskom crisis coming into effect.

“We are not going to let the ANC-led executive dictate to us... this requires all political parties because we need a plan that will work for all our citizens,” said Maimane.

He claimed that the DA has solutions which includes privatising the power utility’s generation entities and to install smart meters, among others.

Maimane also said engineering employees should be designated as an “essential service” that cannot go on strike.

To date, the power utility is owed about R20bn from municipalities across the country which have not paid their bills.

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