DA leader John Steenhuisen has outlined the DA’s plans to try and ensure that municipalities, where it governs, are not subject to Eskom’s load shedding.

He’s spoken about the party’s vision to promote service delivery in municipalities ahead of the local government elections.

Steenhuisen was delivering the party’s election manifesto in a virtual event punctuated with addresses from mayoral candidates and upbeat musical performances.

South Africans go to the polls in local government elections on November the first.

Among the interventions to transform local government, the DA leader highlighted plans to stop communities being continually plunged into the dark by Eskom.

“In the section on electricity provision, you will learn of the DA’s mission to make six pilot municipalities in the Western Cape load shedding-proof in what they call the Energy Resilience Project. These municipalities are putting in place measures that will enable them to procure electricity directly from suppliers and ultimately end their reliance on Eskom altogether. You will also learn that Cape Town already manages to avoid at least one stage of load shedding compared to the rest of the country through its pumped-storage hydropower station at the Steenbras Dam.”

The DA says that decentralising power to local and provincial government is necessary – especially where national government is not up to the task.

Steenhuisen says people have a historic opportunity to make the change that will see services and jobs in their towns and cities.

He says it is the DA’s job to serve the people.

Steenhuisen has told the online manifesto launch celebration that the DA will be testing the reach of local and provincial governments’ powers to even better protect the interests of ordinary people.

Steenhuisen says the party also intends to devolve much of the policing functions from national to competent metros and municipalities and is willing to take the fight all the way to the Constitutional Court if needs be.

“We believe that the best results are always achieved through collaboration, and by decentralising power and control so that those who know the most about a problem are tasked with solving it. Sometimes this will require local or provincial governments to take on some of the responsibilities where national government is not up to the task. We can no longer simply accept that functions such as policing, commuter rail and electricity provision should remain the sole function of a national government that clearly cannot do the job.”

John Steenhuisen keynote address:Β