WATCH | ANC's Eskom plan 'belongs on scrapheap of history': Steenhuisen
“SA is now in the midst of an electricity crisis that threatens to derail what is left of our economy and to destabilise our society,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen during an online address on the party's YouTube channel on Tuesday morning.
His remarks came as South Africans were hit with stage 6 load-shedding after numerous plant breakdowns during the past week, resulting in the power utility having to make extensive use of its emergency reserves which are now at a critical level.
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter conceded during a briefing on SA’s energy crisis on Sunday that “given the current performance of our coal fleet we cannot deny there is a risk” of going beyond stage 6 load-shedding.
“At stage 6 and with talks of higher stages of load-shedding ... we are teetering at the brink of a complete collapse of our grid,” said Steenhuisen.
“[President] Ramaphosa has had his hands on the wheel for over a decade and in that time our energy situation has deteriorated sharply. He now needs to face the sober reality that neither he nor his ministers are actually capable of solving this predicament. They have completely lost control and our country is spiralling into a disaster.
“Minister [Gwede] Mantashe, not Eskom, is responsible for the dysfunctional regulatory framework that has prevented our energy sector's recovery. He has repeatedly blocked renewable energy projects. It is incomprehensible that he has managed to remain in this crucial position despite these multiple failures. He must go and he must go now,” the DA leader said.
“The time for ideology is over, it's now time to deliver. This crisis has to be a wake-up call for President Ramaphosa and his government, a sign that when it comes to keeping the lights on, they are out of their depth and their command and control approach to government belongs firmly on the scrapheap of history.
“It's time now for radical action. It's time now for delivery. The time for promises and talkshops are over.
“We're calling on President Ramaphosa to heed what we've said today, to take it seriously, to appoint an outside expert to lead the effort to get us out of this crisis. Failure to do so will be more load-shedding, more blackouts, more job losses, more suffering and more poverty — and South Africans will never forgive you for that.”
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