DA calls on Eskom to come clean about looming rolling blackouts

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
19 Sep 2019 in News

This Democratic Alliance  (DA) has received reliable information, that Eskom has warned municipalities about the strong possibility of rolling blackouts during the months of September and October. In the interests of transparency and informing the people of South Africa and businesses, DA has written to Eskom Chairperson, Mr Jabu Mabuza, to seek clarity about the  potential rolling blackouts.

The utility has continuously failed in its mandate to deliver reliable and sustained provision of electricity and it seems it is yet again set to fail millions of South Africans and the country’s already weak economy, by not generating enough energy.

This will have a devastating effect on the lives of people and will bring economic activity in these municipalities to a halt.

Eskom has time and again landed our country in deep trouble. Experts estimate that each stage of rolling blackouts, costs the country R1 billion per stage, per day.

South Africa cannot afford another recurrence of economically crippling rolling blackouts.

The impact of rolling blackouts which made an unwelcome appearance earlier this year, was a primary contributor to a 3,2% contraction of the economy in the first quarter – the largest contraction in 10-years.

Eskom has kept the country’s economy down on its knees – with unacceptably high levels of unemployment and job losses due to rolling blackouts. Another episode of rolling blackouts would be a major blow for South Africans, who bear the effects of abject poverty, and unemployment.

It appears that the ANC government has no lasting plans to fix the broken power entity which has been mired by decades of mismanagement and corruption.

Furthermore, this new threat of impending blackouts in municipalities makes it clear that the much talked about recovery plans have amounted to nothing.

The DA has, at all times maintained that Eskom’s anticompetitive throttlehold on electricity production and distribution must be broken.

We have a plan to stabilise and secure South Africa’s power supply and that is contained in our Cheaper Energy Bill, which seeks to break Eskom into two separate entities – a generation and distribution entity.

The DA will continue to keep a close eye on the developments at Eskom, as we maintain that the challenges at Eskom is far greater than the ANC government would want the public to believe.