NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA to present its Cheaper Electricity Bill in Parliament tomorrow – Natasha Mazzone

MP argues for greater competition and for private players to enter the electricity market

DA to present its Cheaper Electricity Bill in Parliament tomorrow

2 December 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will on Tuesday present its Private Members Bill, the Independent Electricity Management Operator (IEMO) Bill also known as the Cheaper Electricity Bill, before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises.

The DA once again calls on our colleagues across the political divide to set our differences aside and support the introduction of this Bill in order to ensure secure energy security and future for all South Africans.

Electricity is an essential source of energy without which no economy can flourish,  but Eskom’s monopolistic stranglehold on electricity production and distribution has, without doubt, led to the precarious situation South Africa finds itself in today with regards to the provision of electricity. It has sabotaged our future and has been the single biggest risk to the South African economy.

It is for this reason that, the DA argues for greater competition and for private players to enter the electricity market.

The DA’s Cheaper Energy Bill seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities – a generation and transmission/distribution entity. Our plan would see a generation entity which is privatised in an effort to break Eskom’s monopoly on the production of energy, allowing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to compete on an equal footing in the generation sector.

Well-functioning metros will be able to source energy directly from IPPs and electricity supply will ultimately become more stable, cleaner and cheaper.

The introduction of this Bill comes at a time when the governing party has literally brought the power utility to its knees, through years of corruption and maladministration, threatening to take the entire country down with it.

South Africans have lost faith in the utility’s ability to keep the lights on and the utility has effectively become a zombie enterprise that is both overinflated and burning through taxpayers' money at an alarming rate.

The DA is of the view that our Cheaper Electricity Bill is the only way to guarantee a profitable, efficient Eskom and an energy secure South Africa. We have reached a stage with Eskom where we have to put our political differences aside, as it is in all of our mutual interests to ensure that Eskom gets back to working for all South Africans. Failure to this will result in, not only the collapse of Eskom but the collapse of South Africa.

Issued by Natasha MazzoneChief Whip of the Official Opposition, 2 December 2019