Cape Town - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan must now act in the best interest of South Africans and tackle the electricity crisis head-on, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
The DA would write to Gordhan requesting an urgent meeting on the electricity crisis. It was now time for the African National Congress government and Gordhan to put politics aside and seriously consider the DA’s plan to ensure the country no longer had to endure the crippling effects of power blackouts, DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said.
"The ANC government’s legacy of state capture at Eskom has essentially cut our power and the time has come to cut Eskom’s monopoly over our power and ultimately the ANC’s power in next year’s elections. The shortage of coal at several power stations and the resultant effect of power blackouts proves that Eskom’s monopoly on power production and supply needs to be broken up," she said.
The Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill introduced by the DA sought to achieve exactly this and save citizens money by ensuring that they had more options with regards to purchasing electricity.
The ISMO Bill proposed that Eskom be divided into two entities - one to generate power and the other dedicated to power transmission. The power generating division would compete with its independent counterparts on an equal footing, ensuring efficiency, stability, and competitive prices.
"Gordhan must now act in the best interest of South Africans and tackle the electricity crisis head-on. That the power utility is looking to spend R1 billion in the interim is an indictment on Eskom’s leadership. A long-term solution is desperately needed. The DA has a plan to ensure that we turn around Eskom in order to deal decisively and permanently with the entity’s problems," she said.
The DA would also write to the Eskom board chairman Jabu Mabuza, asking him to submit supplementary affidavits to the DA’s charges against those who had been implicated in the coal catastrophe the country was currently facing.
"The public can no longer be made to pay for the ANC’s failures. Minister Gordhan must now prove that he is committed to ending the crisis at Eskom and prioritising South Africans by meeting with the DA to discuss the ISMO Bill," Mazzone said.
African News Agency (ANA)