DA motion of no confidence

DA leader, John Steenhuisen.
Photo: Parliament RSA / Twitter

Eskom: SA needs to break free from the electricity crisis – DA

Hitting the local government election campaign trail DA leader John Steenhuisen has raised the sore point of Eskom’s load shedding.

DA motion of no confidence

DA leader, John Steenhuisen.
Photo: Parliament RSA / Twitter

It’s  time for South Africa to be liberated from the ANC’s Eskom electricity crisis, symbolised by electricity outages Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, John Steenhuisen said, campaigning ahead of municipal elections on Tuesday.

Steenhuisen’s remarks followed his oversight visit with DA spokesperson on Mineral Resources and Energy, Kevin Mileham, to the Modder East substation in Ekurhuleni which went up in flames on Monday night , leaving large parts of the metro without electricity. 

“It is time for South Africa to be liberated from the ANC’s electricity crisis, symbolized by electricity outages,” Steenhuisen said.

“This is a regular occurrence in Ekurhuleni due to the abject failure of the municipality to secure a stable and reliable electricity supply in the metro, coupled with failures at a national level by Eskom which has ageing and rapidly decaying infrastructure and declining generation capacity,” he said.

Ekurhuleni is one of hundreds of municipalities plagued by rolling blackouts and electricity collapse due to decades of infrastructure neglect and corruption which has hollowed out local government capacity.

“What South Africa’s local municipalities need is a DA-led administration to liberate them from our country’s electricity crisis – residents deserve a government that gets things done to keep the lights on and grow local economies,” Steenhuisen said.

Eskom load-shedding minimised in Cape Town

“In metros and local municipalities where the DA governs, electricity supply is stable and reliable, and we are even making groundbreaking advances to offset load shedding, break Eskom’s tenuous monopoly on electricity supply, and give residents and consumers more choice to be energy independent,” he said.

He said Cape Town had used the 160 megawatts Steenbras Hydro Pump Station as part of the Steenbras Dam to supplement electricity supply when needed. 

“The result is that Cape Town is able to offset stages 1 and 2 of Eskom’s load shedding by feeding our own supply into the grid. So while the rest of South Africa sits in the dark, Cape Town still shines bright,” he said.

He said DA-led Stellenbosch mayor, Gesie van Deventer, had signed a memorandum of understanding with partners in the private sector to break free from Eskom entirely. 

“In line with the Electricity Regulation Act promulgated in 2020, Stellenbosch has begun the process to become the first municipality in South Africa to become completely energy independent, purchasing electricity from independent power producers using green and sustainable alternatives,” he said.

SA needs to break free of parastatal’s monopoly

He said the DA was also pushing at national level for more enabling legislation for independent power producers to open the grid and create a competitive energy sector. 

“Our Independent Electricity Management Operator (IEMO) Bill, also known as the Cheaper Electricity Bill, was tabled at parliament in December 2019 to create an independent public-private partnership that would manage grid operations and electricity planning, source electricity from a variety of generation plants, and sell it to municipal and industrial customers,” Steenhuisen said. 

“We are tackling the root cause of electricity collapse right at the source to free South Africans from the crippling effects of load shedding under the ANC,” he said.

He added that towns and municipalities across South Africa did not have energy security on the Eskom grid.

“We need a solution out of this crisis where the needs of South Africans are placed above the needs of greedy ANC cadres. The DA has a plan to fix South Africa’s electricity woes, but we need a clear mandate in municipalities across the country,” he said.