ANC KZN confident of retaining stronghold province

The DA and ANC are eyeing KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane Independent Newspapers

The DA and ANC are eyeing KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane Independent Newspapers

Published May 14, 2024


Assertions that only a DA-led KwaZulu-Natal will be able keep the lights on in the province have been rubbished as nothing more than the musings of a party that has no understanding of the complexity of governing.

With the DA forging ahead with growing its support base in the province, Elma Rabe, the party’s KZN spokesperson on the Office of the Premier and Royal Household, said the DA believed that now more than ever it was more than capable of ensuring that the lights remained on in the province.

Rabe made the comment while announcing that the DA was finally satisfied with the amendments to the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill, which primarily seeks to provide for the National Energy Regulator to consider licence applications, the issuing of additional electricity, new generation capacity, and various other amendments to provide for the application of the Act.

Rabe said the amendments, in particular the provision for an open market platform, would allow for much-needed competitive electricity trading.

She said allowing the private sector and other role players to step in, would enable the province to also witness the progress made in the DA-led Western Cape, which was ahead of the curve with 2000 megawatts in the market and also aiming to ensure enough energy generation in the province by 2035.

“In the Western Cape, 24 municipalities are being supported with Small-Scale Embedded Generation, with 21 providing compensation for feedback of electricity, unlike KZN’s eThekwini Metro so-called leadership who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

“In the Western Cape, businesses are being directly assisted through the Green Economy support programme, jobs are safe, businesses are able to stay open during load-shedding and the economy is thriving. This is in stark contrast to KZN, where the province’s ANC-run government would rather spend three-quarters of the budget on Compensation of Employees than keeping the lights on for our children to go to school, do homework and have a hot meal at the end of the day,” she said.

ANC KZN spokesperson Mafika Mndebele, however, said that the governing party in the province was unfazed by such comments and was confident of retaining its majority in the province in the upcoming elections.

Mndebele, in rubbishing the criticisms levelled against his party, stressed that the DA could not help the province with electricity because the ANC had since coming into power in 1994 succeeded in providing electrification to 80% of South Africans.

“In KZN, we have townships where there is 100% electrification all thanks to the ANC, the DA whose president is of course a matriculant will not understand the complexity that comes with governing. Currently as we speak, we have stabilised electricity as a country.

“In terms of reserves we are at a proper direction to end load shedding but when you go to the only municipality governed by them (DA) it is a shame that our people in rural areas have no access to these services. Still this is not surprising given that the DA has no interest of the majority of our people in mind,” he added.