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Today, Eskom announced another phase of loadshedding across South Africa.
While most of the country will be experiencing stage 2, the DA-led City of Cape Town has through effective management been able to add additional generation capacity to the electricity grid so that City-supplied residents and businesses experience stage 1 load-shedding instead of stage 2. This means less frequent and shorter periods without power.
Eskom has been holding the people of South Africa ransom for far too long and the national government continues to reward their inability to effectively manage the State Owned Enterprise (SOE).
The City of Cape Town has demonstrated that there are alternatives to producing power. Through the Steenbras Hydro-electric Power Scheme, the City is able to build up additional capacity.
Though this is one way to soften the blow of Eskom’s failure, the City has also taken the Minister of Energy and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to court to allow municipalities to purchase energy from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
The monopoly Eskom holds over energy in our country is a major part of the problem, there is no competition to keep them accountable.
With no prior notice Eskom has cut the power, leaving thousands of students unable to write their final exams, preventing small businesses from operating and sending families into a frenzy to plan for the inevitable moment when the lights go out.
In the DA-led Western Cape and City of Cape Town, we will continue to fight to keep the lights on. We will not allow continued failure and mismanagement from the ANC national government and Eskom to prevent this province and metro from making progress.