'It sounds like it’s never going to end': ANC wants answers on load-shedding
'We want to know what is going on with Eskom. Why is it that we can’t get a solid answer?' – ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has added her voice to the growing frustration over load-shedding, demanding “clear and unequivocal answers” on the electricity crisis.
This after Eskom announced on Wednesday morning that stage 4 rolling blackouts would be in place until 5am on Friday. Stage 2 rotational power cuts would then be in place until the next morning.
Questioned about this, Duarte admitted to being in the dark, like many South Africans.
“Where we are now on the Eskom issue? We are demanding an answer. We want to know what is going on with Eskom. Why is it that we can’t get a solid answer? Why is this thing not able to be resolved?
“We want [a] clear, unequivocal straight-forward answer from minister [Pravin] Gordhan and the CEO [Andre de Ruyter]. We can’t go on like this. Every day we now have a message that says there will be load-shedding. It sounds like it’s never going to end. As a society, we have lives to live, businesses to run, children to feed and all manner of things. Our people need proper answers.”
Duarte was speaking at the launch of the party’s local government barometer, a new tool set up to track the performance of ANC-led municipalities on a quarterly basis.
With most of SA’s municipalities on the brink of collapse, Duarte said if the ruling party was voted into power again, it would rectify this by, among other measures, appointing qualified leaders.
“We must have excellent municipalities so that our people’s lives will begin to change for the better. We do want to attract good investment to our country but we also want to see a concomitant change in upstreaming of everything that happens.
“Local economies must be given a chance to exist. And they are only going to be able to exist if the local authority is doing a good job.”
With just four days before the local polls, the ANC's head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, also spoke out against incompetence at some state-owned entities.
“The ANC cannot defend mediocrity in Eskom, Prasa and everywhere. The ANC expects the best. Our people expect the best from the ANC. As we go door-to-door and talk to our people, facing them on the ground, they communicate the message that 'we will vote the ANC, please do better'," he said.
Mbalula described the party's barometer as a tangible step towards getting people out of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“It is a direct response to our self assessment of how we have felt in our commitment to deliver a local government system that is truly responsive to the needs of South Africans.”
He moved to assure voters that the party would do better to address their bread and butter issues after taking the war on corruption head-on.
“We have travelled the length and breadth of the country genuinely engaging with the people and took time to listen to them. Some shared their pain of living in squalor while some of our municipalities failed to deliver services.
“We have listened to the communities very attentively. Our commitment to resolving their problems, do better in governing the municipalities and building better communities is a firm commitment backed by tangible actions.”