File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Media reports this weekend "once again expose how alleged tender irregularities and state capture" contributed to the country’s latest wave of rolling power blackouts, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

"Reports alleged that funds meant for vital maintenance of power plants were diverted to the Kusile power station and other capital expenditure programmes, where looting took place through dodgy tenders," DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said in a statement.

The previous boiler maintenance contract was also reportedly not renewed by the National Treasury, as it was an illegal tender. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had reportedly stated that funding for maintenance began to disappear five years ago, she said.

This was a damning indictment on the "failing" African National Congress government and how corruption at Eskom had plunged the country into darkness. These reports once again proved that the electricity crisis was avoidable and that corruption, tender irregularities, and state capture had had a haemorrhaging effect on the economy and had affected the livelihood of millions of South Africans.

To put it into perspective, for every stage four power blackout, around 14.8 percent of the population, or 8.5 million people, did not have power. It was therefore abundantly clear that under the current administration power utility Eskom would "remain broken".

"As a country, we are still waiting with bated breath for the arrest of those mixed up in corruption, looting of Eskom, and other state-owned entities. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently mentioned that allegations of sabotage at Eskom power stations were being investigated. Unlike the ANC, the DA has zero tolerance on corruption, and anyone found guilty of corruption will be jailed for 15 years," Mazzone said.

African News Agency (ANA)