Steenhuisen calls for IPPs to take over from 'failing' Eskom

12 March 2020 - 10:49
By Cebelihle Bhengu
John Steenhuisen is rooting for independent power producers (IPPs) to do Eskom's job.
Image: Veli Nhlapo John Steenhuisen is rooting for independent power producers (IPPs) to do Eskom's job.

As Eskom continues to implement stage four load-shedding, DA interim leader John Steenhuisen's message is clear: “It is time for a bold, new vision to solve our energy crisis, give citizens their power back and replace our addiction to dirty coal with an embrace of renewable energy.”

Steenhuisen said on Wednesday that the ongoing issues at Eskom, which include power cuts, come at a cost to South Africans and the country's economy.

He committed the DA to advocating for independent power producers (IPPs) to take over “failing” Eskom, and lead SA to an era of “abundant, affordable and sustainable electricity generation”.

Detailing his plan towards clean energy, the opposition leader said Eskom must, in the short term, be split into two independent electricity generation and supply entities, and must be completely closed in the medium term and its assets sold.

Steenhuisen on Tuesday launched a petition, “power to the people,” in which he asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to act swiftly to keep the lights on by supporting individuals and companies who wish to independently generate electricity.

The president, in his state of the nation (Sona) address in February, said he would allow municipalities in good financial standing to procure energy directly from independent producers, a pronouncement which was supported by the DA.

Eskom on Wednesday said stage 4 load-shedding would continue due to a shortage in capacity caused by unplanned breakdowns.