ANC, DA: Captain Obvious about Eskom, load shedding

The ANC – Statement

A statement by the ruling party on Eskom and load shedding.

Since 2008, South Africa has been experiencing challenges with the regular disruptions in the supply of electricity. Such challenges have been as a result of amongst others, the rapid and unprecedented connection of millions of South Africans who were previously excluded from the electricity grid.

When South Africans celebrated twenty years of democracy this year, our country also marked the historic milestone of more than 11 million households having access to electricity; double the number of households with access to electricity in 1994.

This project of the fundamental transformation of our people’s lives through access to the most basic of amenities, electricity, has not been without its share of problems. Amongst these was it being carried out without the necessary concomitant investment being made to expand generation capacity and ensure energy security in the immediate future.

Ageing infrastructure and the numerous delays in the completion of the building of additional power stations have compounded the challenge.

The African National Congress shares the very strong concerns of the South African public on the current and serious load shedding programme being undertaken by Eskom.

Whilst we note that load shedding may be a necessity as a means of conserving energy as per the explanation provided by Eskom, the ANC urges the power utility to communicate these schedules better with the intention of minimizing inconvenience and the inevitable disruptions to businesses and households alike.

The last meeting of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress held in November this year was instructive and emphatic that Eskom must accelerate the pace to complete and bring onto the grid the Medupi and Kusile Power Stations.

We further called for the enactment of legislation licencing Independent Power Producers. It is our belief that these urgent and necessary interventions should and must provide relief to South Africa in the short to medium term.

We have in place the necessary plans to expand our energy capacity. Our massive infrastructure development programme to boost our competitiveness and improve our economic growth rate is underpinned by ensuring energy security.

We have already taken the decision to maximise all sources of energy including coal, gas, nuclear, solar and other clean energy options.

The DA – News article by Sapa

Eskom must declare the rolling blackouts a national crisis, DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.

Maimane was speaking outside the offices of the public enterprises ministry in Pretoria where he handed over a list of demands addressed to minister Lynne Brown.

“The president, the public enterprises minister, and Eskom must come clean and acknowledge that load shedding is indicative of a national electricity crisis,” said Maimane.

“Now more than ever we need to see transparency and honesty from government on the full extent of the crisis, and the plans in place to solve it.”

On Monday, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona said the country was not experiencing a power supply crisis. Instead, the manner in which Eskom was reported on created the perception of a crisis.

“South Africans know that it is completely untrue that we are not facing a crisis,” Maimane said.

“This crisis has touched the daily lives of all South Africans, and affects every aspect of our existence including our transport infrastructure, our water supply, our hospitals and our schools.”

Maimane demanded that President Jacob Zuma immediately sign the Independent System and Market Operator (Ismo) Bill into law so the electricity grid was open to independent power producers.

“This bill will provide the legal and regulatory framework for independent power producers to contribute to the grid, but it continues to gather dust on President Zuma’s desk,” Maimane said.

An immediate moratorium on bonuses for Eskom executives should be implemented.

“Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames earned R23 million last year while load shedding continued to hit households and businesses with greater intensity,” said Maimane.

“Eskom must show commitment to freezing any intended bonus payments to its executives until South Africa’s power generating capacity exceeds demand by at least a 15 percent reserve margin.”

Consumers should be receiving tax benefits for buying generators.

“This exorbitant expense can be directly attributed to Eskom’s failure to provide the basic service of electricity,” Maimane said.

“Minister Brown… should be at the forefront of negotiating these tax deductions with the National Treasury to see their inclusion in the forthcoming budget.”

The last demand on the DA’s list was that government followed a “World Cup approach” to completing the Medupi and Kusile power stations.

“Medupi should have been online by 2007/8 already, yet experts estimate that it will not even reach 10 percent of its promised capacity to generate electricity by late next year,” said Maimane.

“Every possible step must be taken to prevent further work stoppages and disruptions at the power plants. No further strikes can be tolerated, and if necessary government must enact regulations to bar labour disruptions at Medupi and Kusile [construction sites].”

More Eskom news

Eskom details Tuesday’s load shedding

There is no power crisis: Eskom

Expect electricity problems for at least a year: Eskom

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ANC, DA: Captain Obvious about Eskom, load shedding