More dark days in 2023 than the past four years combined

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – DA Shadow Minister of Electricity
24 Jul 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP.

South Africans have spent 27% of this year without power. This equates to 49 full days of load-shedding, which is the same amount of time spent without power during the last four years combined. In four days’ time, with no sign of loadshedding ending, we will have experienced more loadshedding in 2023 than in the past 10 years in total.

Despite the assurances of the Minister of Electricity, Dr Ramokgopa, the situation is not likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Instead, with Koeberg’s refurbishment of Unit 1 being far behind schedule, we are looking at a deepening electricity crisis, with little to no real solutions on the table. Instead, Minister Mantashe has dragged his feet on the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill which has only now been tabled before Parliament. The Integrated Resources Plan, outstanding since 2021 and which is the electricity blueprint for the country, has still not been tabled. And the latest regulations around renewable energy has set that solution back immeasurably.

The establishment of the National Energy Crisis Committee, coupled with the appointment of the Minister of Electricity and the drafting of an Energy Action Plan, should have already resulted in an improvement in the loadshedding crippling this country. Instead, loadshedding is at an unprecedented level with only 2 days in this year being loadshedding free.

Moreover, it is disheartening to note that, despite the $8.5 billion available to South Africa from the international community for the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Programme, not a single activity in this Plan has been implemented to address our energy challenges.

Instead, we are briefed weekly by Minister Ramokgopa on interventions that are yet to yield results.

The Democratic Alliance is calling on the Minister, as the Head of NECOM, to provide the 6-month update (which is now overdue) on the Energy Action Plan. Furthermore, we are calling for the Energy Action Plan, in the absence of the Integrated Resource Plan to provide a detailed, costed and timeframe bound roadmap to addressing the energy crisis in the short, medium, and long term.

The shotgun approach currently being adopted by the government is clearly not working and South Africa deserves to know that the Minister and his team is taking the crisis seriously and not merely plugging holes until the 2024 elections.

It is time for South African voters to take back their power. A new DA-led administration, dedicated to the welfare of all citizens, not just a privileged few, can bring hope to our nation, addressing the issues of loadshedding and revitalizing our energy infrastructure.