Tired of empty promises, DA calls on South Africans to join march against electricity crisis

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on all South Africans to join a march to Luthuli House on the 25th of January to protest the electricity crisis.

The party says that the crisis has been engineered by the African National Congress (ANC) and says citizens should voice their anger at the governing party’s destruction of the country’s energy infrastructure and economy, and demand urgent solutions to the escalating crisis.

DA leader John Steenhuisen says, “The DA’s protest will specifically target Luthuli House because this is the scene of the crime that the ANC continues to perpetrate against the people of South Africa through permanent stage 6 load shedding and the latest 18.65% electricity tariff increase. It is at Luthuli House where, over the past three decades, the decisions were made to “deploy” the corrupt and incompetent cadres who plundered and destroyed Eskom. It is at Luthuli House that corrupt tenders were handed out, including for the ill-fated construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations that have cost our country so dearly.”

Steenhuisen says the party is tired of the empty promises made by the President and has urged South Africans to join the party’s march to Luthuli House.

He says the governing party should be closing the taps on its own corruption, unbundling Eskom and privatising most of it, opening the electricity market to private competition, bringing in skilled engineers, and exempting Eskom and other energy producers from all cumbersome localization and BEE rules.

“Households are battling to put food on the table. Businesses are struggling to pay their staff. Stage 6 load shedding is costing South Africa between R4 billion and R6 billion per day. We do not accept that while the ANC is subjecting ordinary South Africans to 11 hours of load shedding per day, the residences of the President, his cabinet ministers and his deputy ministers get no load-shedding at all. The very people who have broken Eskom are exempting themselves from the effects of their own failure. This is why they have no sense of urgency to fix their own mess.”

Meanwhile, Energy Expert Matthew Cruise, says South Africa could remain on Stage 6 of rolling blackouts for the rest of 2023 if the problems at Eskom are not urgently addressed.  

On Wednesday, the power utility announced that rolling blackouts would be escalated to stage six indefinitely after it suffered breakdowns at 11 of its power stations.  

Meanwhile, with the country still struggling to grapple with the high cost of living, and unemployment, the opposition parties say the recent electricity hike will exacerbate the dire conditions in South Africa.

EFF’s Sinawo Tambo says, “This increase will further delve our people into extreme poverty.”

Reacting to the electricity hike, Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya says the President deeply regrets the national energy crisis that has plunged the country into Stage 6 rolling blackouts.

Eskom’s debt is currently estimated at around R400 billion.