Maimane berates ANC for collapsing Eskom and failure to solve load shedding in 15 years

Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Reuters

Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Reuters

Published May 11, 2023


Johannesburg - Build One SA (Bosa) leader Mmusi Maimane has accused the ANC government of continuously failing the people of South Africa after the ANC-led government failed to put an end to load shedding.

He said for over 15 years, the country has had to contend with the energy crisis, which has seen the country’s economy fail to grow due to unprecedented levels of rolling power cuts.

He said children born 15 years ago, including his own children, have since become load shedding experts due to the failure of the ANC-led government to solve the Eskom crisis.

Maimane was speaking during an address he held outside Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on Wednesday, following Minister of State Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s decision to appeal the recent Pretoria High Court ruling brought by Maimane and 17 other opposition political parties, which ruled in favour of exempting public institutions, including schools, from load shedding.

"This government had 15 years to prepare for this crisis. We cannot continue to lose lives in hospitals because of load shedding. Twenty-nine years ago, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. In the first couple of years, the government did its job fairly well; millions of houses were built, electricity was connected to rural and township areas, and healthcare was accessible to all. Today, the ANC government is irreconcilable with the Mandela government. While one upholds human rights, the government of today violates human rights," he said.

On Friday, May 6, the Pretoria High Court ordered the minister to take ‘all reasonable steps within 60 days’ to stabilise the power of the electricity supply to certain entities during severe rolling blackouts.

The ruling also added that in cases where isolation is not possible, the responsible party must arrange for alternative power sources, such as generators.

On Monday, in a statement, Gordhan said he would be appealing this ruling.

"While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case, the department believes that judgment would have unintended consequences and undermine the very efforts to balance the protection of the rights that were ventilated in this case with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure," Gordhan said.

The former DA leader said the recent decision by Gordhan to challenge the Pretoria High Court ruling was a blatant abuse of power by the minister, adding that it was possible for the government to abide by the ruling and exempt hospitals, clinics, police stations, and public schools from load shedding.

"If Gordhan and his cabinet colleagues can receive uninterrupted electricity supply to all at their luxurious homes, then there is no excuse for hospitals, schools, and police stations to go without," he said.

The ANC had yet to respond to the allegations levelled by Maimane at the time of going to print.

The Star