If anyone still has any doubts about the severity of our electricity crisis, two recent articles should act as a final wake up call, says DA leader Helen Zille.
“The first reported that Cabinet had been briefed by Eskom on the risk of a nationwide blackout. This is what happens when the grid fails and everything shuts down indefinitely. In other words, when load-shedding wasn’t enough to protect the grid from collapse. If this happens, we’d need to source a huge amount of electricity elsewhere to “re-start” the grid. This is not available from any of our neighbours.
To avoid this catastophe, it is inevitable that we will face heavy load-shedding for the foreseeable future.
In the second story, we read that the ANC had decided, at its annual lekgotla, to abandon the Independent System Market Operator (ISMO) bill. This is legislation that would have taken the management of our national power grid away from Eskom, allowing far greater involvement of Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
There is only one conclusion to be drawn here: keeping Eskom’s monopoly and control is more important to the ANC than solving this crisis.
Now, more than ever, we need courageous, selfless leadership. Instead, we have President Jacob Zuma. Between his attempts at laying the blame for the infrastructure neglect on apartheid and Gwede Mantashe’s preposterous assertion that our grid is strained because of “growth and development”, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.
Never before has the notion of restoring Power to the People seemed more pertinent’, added Zille.
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