Political parties criticise the National State of Disaster declaration

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Most opposition parties in Parliament have criticised the government for declaring the National State of Disaster to respond to the energy crises.

They were taking part in a debate in Parliament on the implications of the declaration.

The FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald says the government is responsible for the crisis.

“What we are dealing with here is that we are dealing with the disaster created by the government itself. No honourable chairperson, you cannot allow and you cannot solve a disaster by the same people who created the disaster… To expect them to solve the disaster. Therefore the ANC government just won’t be able to solve the problem.”

The ACDP has reiterated that it is unnecessary for government to declare the National State of Disaster over the energy crisis.

ACDP MP Steve Swart says existing legislation is sufficient to address the ongoing rolling blackouts.

“The electricity crises can in our view be addressed through the existing legislation and procedures. … Declaring a State of Disaster and bypassing certain procedures will create more opportunities for fraud and corruption. This is particularly so when one considers many irrational regulations under the COVID-19 State of Disaster impacting thousands of businesses and more than a million jobs. The potential for further fraud and corruption that the country experience in the emergency procurements of PPEs is real.”

The DA says the government should have dealt with corruption at Eskom instead of declaring a National State of Disaster to respond to the energy crisis.

The party’s MP Ghaleb Cachalia says, “Surely this is where the laser focus of any administration should be – on the enabling policies; criminal syndicates and the myriad preferences of the preferential procurements; BEE; employment arrangements for the history of labour and more to free the hand of seizers… and executives; to fix the broken utility and bring alternative generation and embrace the private sector to avoid a total blackout; rescue the economy and alleviate the burden on us the ordinary citizens.”

DA slams National State of Disaster:

The ANC in Parliament has hit back at the opposition benches.

The party’s MP Jabulile Tshabalala says, “We want to say, definitely, this is the step in the right direction. We believe that indeed the election of the Minister of Electricity will bring about the change that we need and resolve the crises that we are facing in this country. And there is none who is going to remove this sitting President because the citizens of this country would have voted the President of the country through the democratic process. So these illusions that we are hearing that the President can just be removed because of some shutdown – that shut down the economy, that stops everything that needs to happen in this country is really a shameful analogy.”

President Ramaphosa defends declaring a National State of Disaster to address the energy crisis: