File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
PARLIAMENT - Eskom was holding South Africans hostage, Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone said on Thursday as she opened a debate of national importance in the National Assembly on the crisis at the power utility.

"We, as South Africa, have a metaphorical knife to our throat and we are being forced to pay a never-ending ransom to Eskom or else, the throat will be slit and the result will be a full blackout and the death of South Africa as we know it," said Mazzone.

The debate follows on the back of admissions from government that faulty designs of its new power stations have resulted in South Africa not having an adequate buffer should breakdowns and planned maintenance at it other electricity plants occur.

"We are teetering on the very edge. We should be terrified at what exactly could happen if this crisis worsens."

Mazzone said government had failed to avert the crisis and keep the lights on despite several turnaround plans being put in place and various  task teams put in place.

"I have watched, year after year, Eskom board after Eskom board, rolling blackout after rolling blackout, minister after minister, Eskom price increase after price increase…it just gets worse."

African News Agency (ANA)