DA calls on Eskom to provide daily updates and forecasts on the status of the grid

Issued by Ghaleb Cachalia MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
21 May 2020 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on Eskom to provide the nation with daily updates and forecasts on the status and stability of the power grid.

This follows the admission by Eskom’s COO, Jan Oberholzer, at a media briefing this morning that due to the neglect of the utility’s power plants, the grid remains unpredictable and unreliable.

This admission seems to indicate that as the country is gradually moving out of the hard lockdown, we are now slipping back into a complete electricity meltdown – further haemorrhaging the economy.

South Africa’s sovereign credit rating has been downgraded to junk status by rating agencies. A situation further compounded by the extended Covid-19 lockdown which has affected the livelihoods of many people, especially the poor and vulnerable. South Africans have been prevented from engaging in most forms of economic activity which has had untold consequences on the health of our country’s economy.

Any prospect of rolling blackouts resulting from an unstable grid can send further shockwaves through the economy. It is for this reason that the DA calls for daily updates and forecasts from Eskom so that the nation can brace itself for the probable economic fallout.

At the end of the day, in order for South Africa to avoid a catastrophic economic meltdown, Government will have to cut Eskom loose.

The DA, therefore, reiterates our call for Eskom to be split into two entities, with an eye on partial or full privatisation, and for independent power producers to be brought on board in preparation for a move in this desired direction. Electricity is central to ensuring people’s livelihoods are secured.

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