EFF members marched through the rain, scorching sun and thunder from Sandton to Eskom's Megawatt Park head office to submit their memorandum demanding that Eskom stop load shedding and that Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan be fired. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
EFF members marched through the rain, scorching sun and thunder from Sandton to Eskom's Megawatt Park head office to submit their memorandum demanding that Eskom stop load shedding and that Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan be fired. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Name and shame MPs who don't pay for electricity, says Malema at EFF's Eskom march

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Feb 28, 2020

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Johannesburg - The EFF says its demands to Eskom are simple - halt plans to secure electricity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and for the power utility to increase its capacity to end load shedding.

Thousands of EFF supporters took to the streets and marched to Eskom's head offices in Megawatt Park, Sandton, on Friday. The pouring afternoon thunderstorm did not deter their eagerness to arrive at the destination and handover a memorandum of demands to Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter.

The EFF leadership, including its party leader Julius Malema, led the march.

Malema said it was time for South Africans who could afford to start paying for electricity. He criticised the possibility that there could be Parlaimentrians that do not pay for electricity and said they should be publicly shamed.

"Members of Parliament who are not paying electricity must be exposed and they must pay for electricity. Because not paying is going to collapse this company. Let us go back and demand in our councils that municipalities must pay Eskom. Let’s go back to legislatures and demand that all departments pay electricity," he said.

Eskom has been battling to keep the lights on, leading to rolling blackouts since the beginning of the year. The power utility cited maintenance work and poor supply from its substations for the load shedding. 

De Ruyter announced that load shedding could be a normal occurrence for the next 12 to 18 months.

EFF members marched through the rain, scotching sun and thunder from Sandton to Megawatt Park. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA)
EFF members marched through the rain, scotching sun and thunder from Sandton to Megawatt Park. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA)
In the latest Budget Speech, the government announced plans to start procuring more electricity from IPPs - about 2000 to 3000 megawatts. 

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe had also told the mining sector that it could go ahead by procuring its own electricity-generating avenue to side-step the effects of load shedding.

The EFF sees the government's desire to work with IPPs as growing reliance which could hamper Eskom's future.

"It is the financial institutions that are benefitting from IPP’s. Eskom has its own capacity to generate electricity. We are here to speak on behalf of the workers of Eskom. They don’t want this. We want Eskom that has got its own security, we want Eskom that has its own mining company and mines its own coal.

"We are not here to ask for tenders, we are here to ask for Eskom to build its own capacity and insourcing," Malema said.

Malema also criticised the possibility of municipalities procuring electricity from IPPs. He said this would largely decrease Eskom's revenue collection. He encouraged citizens to demand that municipalities pay for electricity.

"This company is going to collapse if you allow municipalities to buy directly from IPPs.There are a lot of municipalities that owe Eskom money. Cut that electricity and use that money to give electricity to the poor," he said.

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Political Bureau

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