Luthuli House’s tinpot dictator must not shift the blame on load-shedding by blaming the JET investment

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
12 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.

The DA condemns the recent statements made by the ANC’s Fikile Mbalula, attempting to insinuate that South Africa’s chronic load-shedding crisis is a direct result of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET). These reckless and misleading statements are not only baseless but also a disservice to the truth and the critical energy situation facing our nation.

The attempt to scapegoat the JET agreement, an $8.8 billion investment aimed at facilitating South Africa’s transition from coal to cleaner and sustainable energy sources, is not only misleading but a flagrant distortion of reality. The load-shedding crisis is the culmination of a 16-year debacle perpetuated by ANC corruption and mismanagement, hollowing out the vital infrastructure of entities like Eskom.

Mbalula’s assertion that the closure of coal-fired plants, a step taken in line with the JET agreement, is solely responsible for the current blackouts conveniently ignores crucial facts. It fails to acknowledge that only one unit of the Komati power station, reaching its end of life cycle, was taken offline, with the other eight units having shut down over several years previously. Eskom’s coal fleet is largely dysfunctional and nearing the end of its lifespan – resulting in unplanned outages and ongoing maintenance issues.

The ANC-led mismanagement, state capture, and a lack of investment in new energy generation have severely crippled Eskom, causing a substantial and consistent energy deficit leading to regular load-shedding to sustain grid stability. This reality is not altered by propaganda or baseless claims.

The DA firmly believes that rather than finding scapegoats, the ANC should be held accountable for the disastrous state of Eskom, a situation exacerbated by their actions. Attempting to discredit renewable energy and lay blame at the door of international financial partners invested in our just energy transition is not just irresponsible but jeopardizes crucial relationships vital for South Africa’s energy future.

It is time for the ANC to cease this blame-shifting and focus on rectifying the dire situation they have cultivated at Eskom. South Africans deserve reliable, stable energy sources and an administration that takes responsibility for its actions rather than deflecting blame to cover up their own failings.

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