Please find an attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.
Nearly two weeks after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approved a 9.6% tariff hike for Eskom, the power utility has promptly subjected South Africans to another bout of rolling blackouts.
After promising to address the country’s crippling electricity challenges when he came to power, President Cyril Ramaphosa now ironically holds the dubious honour of having presided over the worst loadshedding period since 2018.
Independent estimates show that since 2018 when President Ramaphosa came to power, South Africa has shed 4 136 GWh of electricity. The economic cost of this loadshedding crisis has resulted in record unemployment and a very high cost of living for vulnerable South Africans.
While the DA understands that years of mismanagement, neglect and corruption has left Eskom on the verge of implosion, South Africans deserve better than a few hours’ notice before their power is disrupted.
The country’s economy has arguably never been worse. Almost half of South Africans are unemployed and the continued blackouts limit businesses’ growth potential. How can our economy even hope to recover without uninterrupted power supply? Not only do the looming blackouts hamper local enterprises and potential job creation, but it also stifles foreign investment.
While the DA is working hard to break Eskom’s monopoly and the City of Cape Town and other DA municipalities are working hard on partnerships with independent power producers (IPPs), it seems the ANC government is content with the occasional outrage at this devastating situation.
It is time government enacts the many promises of State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs) past. South Africa needs independent power suppliers to supplement the grid and get the economy back on track.