Johannesburg - The DA says it is going ahead with its push to bypass Eskom and procure electricity from independent power producers amid the persistent power outages throughout the country.
On Tuesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, flanked by mayors of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town, said DA-led municipalities were currently working on plans to ensure that they ended their dependency on Eskom for electricity supply, which he said had been plunged into a crisis through mismanagement and corruption under the watch of the ANC-led government.
“I want South Africans to not be fooled by this temporary, short-term “breather” from rolling power cuts experienced this week. This is by no means a sign that all is well, and that the structural problems have been solved,” Maimane said.
Maimane said the DA had now initiated short, medium and long term interventions to ensure municipalities under its control – with a special focus on metros – mitigate the damage of outages caused by Eskom’s woes.
“Firstly, every DA-run municipality has been tasked to formulate and execute disaster management plans to mitigate the damage being caused to critical infrastructure and service delivery by unreliable and intermittent energy supply.
“Secondly, every DA mayor in the country, where appropriate must write to the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe and request a determination in terms of Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act to allow those municipalities to by-pass Eskom and procure electricity directly from IPPs,” Maimane said.
He said IPPs were multiplying across the country and were producing affordable electricity which had to be used to address the crisis of energy supply that was affecting the country.
Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said the capital city was plunged into a crisis by power outages its bulk services that depended on electricity, including the water supply, were also affected.
“We have 15 water plant systems that we operate and all of them are powered by Eskom. You can imagine that when Eskom has got load shedding it means our pumps cannot run and that has got a devastating impact in term of the quality and quantity of water that we have to supply,” Mokgalapa said.