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DA leader requests urgent meeting with Ramaphosa to discuss power crisis

'ANC’s vast patronage network benefits hugely from the status quo'

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa interacts with the leader of the opposition party, John Steenhuisen ahead of National Assembly members' questions in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 3, 2022.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa interacts with the leader of the opposition party, John Steenhuisen ahead of National Assembly members' questions in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 3, 2022.
Image: REUTERS/Esa Alexander

DA leader John Steenhuisen has written to President Cyril Ramphosa requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the ongoing electricity crisis.

“I want to hear from him firsthand why his government refuses to implement the very obvious solutions to this crisis.”

Steenhuisen's request for the meeting comes after Eskom announced on Wednesday that stage 6 load shedding will be implemented continuously until further notice.

"For as long as the ANC is in power, you will have less and less power. Eskom is in a death spiral and the government has no will or intention to do anything about it, because the ANC’s vast patronage network benefits hugely from the status quo," Steenhuisen said.

He said his party and energy experts have been proposing that:

  • Eskom is unbundled into separate transmission, distribution and generation entities and open the market for electricity generation to private power producers;
  • Skilled engineers are appointed to run the transmission, distribution and generation elements of Eskom, and stop all political interference;
  • Declare a ring-fenced state of disaster in order to exempt Eskom from all obstacles to efficient spending and rapid decision-making, such as localisation and BEE legislation;
  • Ramp up security at all key Eskom sites and deal decisively and harshly with saboteurs; and
  • Do everything possible to enable private generation to come online soonest, such as lifting the 100mw cap

Steenhuisen also criticised a potential move of Eskom being moved from the department of public enterprises to the department of energy and mineral resources led by energy minister Gwede Mantashe.

"Nothing could better underscore the fact that while the ANC is in power, the electricity crisis is only going to get worse and worse. My advice to all households and businesses in SA, whether poor or rich, small or large, is to do everything you can to shield yourself from load shedding," Steenhuisen said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Eskom said 11 generating units amounting to 5,084mw of capacity had suffered breakdowns since Tuesday morning, further reducing available capacity and necessitating the increase in the stages of load shedding.


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