STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS ON MATTERS RELATING TO ESKOM'S LOAD SHEDDING PROGRAMME
9 DECEMBER 2014
Since 2008, South Africa has been experiencing challenges with the regular disruptions in the supply of electricity. Such challenges have been as a result of amongst others, the rapid and unprecedented connection of millions of South Africans who were previously excluded from the electricity grid. When South Africans celebrated twenty years of democracy this year, our country also marked the historic milestone of more than 11 million households having access to electricity; double the number of households with access to electricity in 1994.
This project of the fundamental transformation of our people's lives through access to the most basic of amenities, electricity, has not been without its share of problems. Amongst these was it being carried out without the necessary concomitant investment being made to expand generation capacity and ensure energy security in the immediate future. Ageing infrastructure and the numerous delays in the completion of the building of additional power stations have compounded the challenge.
The African National Congress shares the very strong concerns of the South African public on the current and serious load shedding programme being undertaken by Eskom. Whilst we note that load shedding may be a necessity as a means of conserving energy as per the explanation provided by Eskom, the ANC urges the power utility to communicate these schedules better with the intention of minimizing inconvenience and the inevitable disruptions to businesses and households alike.
The last meeting of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress held in November this year was instructive and emphatic that Eskom must accelerate the pace to complete and bring onto the grid the Medupi and Kusile Power Stations. We further called for the enactment of legislation licencing Independent Power Producers. It is our belief that these urgent and necessary interventions should and must provide relief to South Africa in the short to medium term.
We have in place the necessary plans to expand our energy capacity. Our massive infrastructure development programme to boost our competitiveness and improve our economic growth rate is underpinned by ensuring energy security. We have already taken the decision to maximise all sources of energy including coal, gas, nuclear, solar and other clean energy options.
Statement issued by Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesperson, December 9 2014
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