ActionSA-led government will turn things around, says Mashaba

Herman Mashaba. Picture: Armand Hough Independent Newspapers

Herman Mashaba. Picture: Armand Hough Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 27, 2024


Load shedding remained one of the country’s biggest inhibitors to job creation with thousands of small businesses forced to close as a result, while incidents of crime spiked, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday.

Mashaba said children were forced to go home when schools were unable to operate without power and were left without daycare and feeding programmes.

“Hospitals and clinics are unable to save lives when the lights go out. This is simply unacceptable. As a party committed to the South African people, ActionSA will continue to place pressure on the national government to act in the best interests of our people and protect our people from the devastating consequences of load shedding, and the government’s continued failure to provide other essential services.

“But the only way for South Africa to finally end load shedding is by taking action to remove the ruling party at the ballot box this year,” he said.

Mashaba was speaking outside the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, where his party sought to oppose the national government and Eskom’s application for leave to appeal against the landmark judgment handed down by the full bench of the court on December 1.

The judgment declared load shedding unconstitutional and ordered the minister of electricity – along with organs of state – to ensure that electricity supply was ensured for public schools, hospitals, and the SAPS.

“Eskom, the president and the minister of electricity specifically want to appeal sections of the ruling which ruled in favour of ActionSA’s request that hospitals, schools and police stations be exempted from experiencing rolling blackouts and allege that the judgment is too ‘vague’.

“Instead of addressing the concerns raised by the court ruling – including that load shedding infringes on the basic constitutional rights of South Africans – and protecting the most vulnerable against the power crisis through exempting schools, police stations and hospitals, the president, the minister and Eskom have rather decided to spend taxpayers’ money to appeal the ruling,” Mashaba added.

He said it was well documented that communities across South Africa had been adversely affected by load shedding when police stations’ telephone lines did not work, hospitals failed to take care of sick patients when the lights went off, or studies were interrupted at schools when children failed to have access to power.

“Government alleges in the appeal that there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to demonstrate this obvious fact. It is our duty to protect these crucial services and it is deeply concerning that the president, the minister, and Eskom simply do not care.

Mashaba said for the past 17 years, the ruling party has been unable to take action to address the energy crisis, whereas an ActionSA government would end it within two years of taking over the government in the May 29 elections.

“As unveiled at our manifesto launch over the past weekend, ActionSA has a plan to end load shedding within two years after taking the government by, among others, liberalising the electricity market and ending nepotism at Eskom.”

The Star

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