Ramaphosa should answer for Eskom’s blackouts – Natasha Mazzone

DA spokesperson says latest power failures will hit small businesses and lead to further job losses

President Ramaphosa should answer for Eskom’s blackouts in Parliament this week

11 February 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request an urgent Parliamentary debate on the Eskom crisis in terms of National Assembly Rule 130.

It is imperative that the Speaker grants this debate of national importance as a matter of urgency as the latest power failures will no doubt have an impact on the day-to-day operations of small businesses and lead to further job losses.

During last week’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa promised urgent action to address the crisis at Eskom, looking at splitting Eskom into three entities. In spite of these empty promises, South Africans have been subjected to Eskom’s damaging stranglehold on energy with further rolling blackouts.

It is therefore paramount that this debate take place ahead of the President’s reply to the SONA debate on Thursday. His response will be empty should he fail to address the biggest crisis facing our country at present.

The reality is that these power failures can be placed squarely at the feet of the ANC, as it has been their looting and theft of the public’s money that has left us in the dark.

It is unacceptable that ordinary South Africans have to pay for the ANC’s failures.

The ANC’s rejig of Eskom is simply not enough. The DA have long been calling for a complete overhaul of this dinosaur monopoly which is killing our economy with power failures and high electricity prices. The DA introduced our “cheaper electricity bill” which will see Eskom split into two separate entities, a generation entity and a distribution/transmission entity. The generation entity will be privatised over time to compete with other independent power producers on an equal footing. Well-functioning metros will be able to source energy directly from independent energy suppliers.

Through State Capture, Eskom was repeatedly looted and public money stolen. The two new mega coal power stations being built have been subject to corruption, mismanagement and ineptitude while the debt has piled up.

The DA will debate these issues along with the restructuring of Eskom, its role in the economy and high electricity prices. The DA is the only party that can provide South Africans with a stable and affordable energy supply that will enable the creation of new jobs and a flourishing economy.

Issued by Natasha Mazzone, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, 11 February 2019