De Ruyter’s ‘electricity crisis roundtable’ aligns with the DA’s call for an emergency response to the electricity crisis

Issued by Ghaleb Cachalia MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
07 Jun 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP

Exactly a month after the DA called for Cabinet to declare a State of Disaster on Eskom and the electricity sector, we welcome the initiative taken by the Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, to take action on the load-shedding crisis by convening an electricity crisis roundtable – let’s hope that this leads to action, because that is what is required without delay.

The DA will submit an expression of interest to Eskom, declaring our willingness to participate in this roundtable, make a contribution towards finding lasting solutions to the power crisis and to drive the requisite action.

In making the call for the State of Disaster to be declared on Eskom and the electricity sector, the DA was motivated by the realization that ‘a whole of society’ approach was needed to make electricity generation the biggest priority for the country in the next 5 years. Specifically, such a declaration would:

  • help galvanize the national effort toward incremental energy projects with specific deliverables; and
  • lead to the activation of an Electricity Emergency Response Plan (EERP) that lays out short, medium and long term goals to bring additional generation capacity to the grid.

While Cabinet ignored the DA’s call, de Ruyter’s ‘electricity crisis roundtable’ initiative clearly shows that he has been listening and has rightly acted to fill the void created by ANC government inaction.

De Ruyter’s plan will entail inviting local and international energy experts to an ‘electricity crisis roundtable’ later this month. At this roundtable, Eskom will present a proposal developed internally and approved by the board for deliberation and input from roundtable attendees. The objective is to have a final proposal that will be shared with the relevant ministers and made public in August.

The ANC government may be in denial, but the reality is that South Africa is in the middle of an electricity emergency. Unless urgent steps are taken to resolve this decade-long crisis, there is a high probability that South Africa could face another decade-long crisis, there is a high probability that South Africa could face another decade of continuous loadshedding – compounding the ruinous effect on the economy.