As stage 4 loadshedding looms, the DA is fighting for energy independence 

Issued by Ghaleb Cachalia MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
02 Jun 2021 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP

Top Eskom expert, Ted Blom, this week warned that the power utility may possibly plunge South Africa to stage 4 rolling blackouts. This could be a potentially devastating blow for South Africans who are still reeling from the impacts of the country’s economic decline and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest spate of rolling blackouts come as South Africa inches closer towards a Covid third wave which might compromise the storage and rollout of vaccines.

The impact on businesses and jobs will also be devastating especially in lights of the Q1 Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Statistic SA yesterday which confirms that unemployment in South Africa has reached a new high of 32.6%. All economic recovery efforts will be weakened if we continue to rely on Eskom to keep the lights on. Ekurhuleni, the industrial workshop of Africa is currently reeling under blanket blackouts which impacts economic recovery and job security – let alone job creation – in no small measure.

While the ANC government is dithering on Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to add additional capacity to the grid and stumbling on renewable energy projects, the DA-run Western Cape government is proving that we are the only party that can free South Africa from loadshedding.

The Western Cape has allocated almost R70 million to free the province’s municipalities from Eskom’s grip and to defeat loadshedding through the Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project. The MER project will assist six municipalities in generating and selling their own electricity and empower them to purchase energy directly from IPPs. These municipalities include:

  1. Drakenstein Municipality;
  2. Mossel Bay Municipality;
  3. Overstrand Municipality;
  4. Saldanha Bay Municipality;
  5. Stellenbosch Municipality; and
  6. Swartland Municipality.

South Africa cannot continue to be dragged down by Eskom. The DA will continue to challenge Eskom’s monopolistic grip on our energy supply.

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