Members of Parliament have continued to debate the State of the Nation Address delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week. High on the agenda was the country’s energy crisis. This is the second day of the debate.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe tells parliament on Wednesday that there will be another two years of electricity cuts, saying Eskom is unreliable to meet electricity demands.
“According to Eskom we face at least two years minimum of potential load shedding. The President mentioned the following measures we will implement to address energy shortage, procurement of emergency power, the easing of requirement and process for generation for all use and enabling municipalities in good financial standing to buy their own power.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech also set out criteria for municipalities to procure their own electricity. Among others, municipalities must be in good financial standing, demonstrate the existence of necessary technical capacity and competence or that they have in place measures to create capacity.
Mantashe says this will speed up the process of addressing the lack of power generation by Eskom. “To speed up process of addressing power generation deficiency, municipalities are enabled to buy from sources other than Eskom or develop own power projects for generation of own power.”
Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Kevin Mileham lamented the effects of the crisis on the lives of ordinary people. “The people of this country go through hardships, as lights go off they walk on dark streets, at the mercy of violent crime, rape and murder. They can’t study, cook, businesses can’t operate. Lives and livelihoods are stolen. The incapable state and incapable president never take bold action.”
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament in the National Council of Provinces, Simon Mfayela, told the President that corruption is an even worse problem than electricity cuts.
“We all know that the biggest problem is a result of corruption, through various commissions we have put names to faces and names to corruption, wish you will have outlined plans and commitment in 2020 to be the year of orange overalls.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his reply in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon.
Watch the second day of the SONA debate below:
Below are some quotes of MPs from SONA Debate: