NERSA Eskom

While the country is experiencing the worst load shedding ever, they will now pay more for electricity as from 1 April 2023. Image: Adobe stock

Almost R1 million spent to ‘shield’ Ministers from load shedding

While many South Africans are subjected to load shedding, Minister aren’t. Close to R1m has been spent on diesel for their generators.

NERSA Eskom

While the country is experiencing the worst load shedding ever, they will now pay more for electricity as from 1 April 2023. Image: Adobe stock

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has reportedly spent almost R800 000 to shield Ministers from load shedding. 

This was revealed by Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille to the Democratic Alliance (DA). 

MINISTERS EXEMPTED FROM LOAD SHEDDING 

Eskom is currently implementing Stage 6 load shedding. Energy experts are yet to rule out the possibility of Stage 8 rolling blackouts as the power utility is reportedly battling with breakdowns of generating units. 

De Lille revealed that her department had spent almost R800 000 on diesel to run generators at Minister’s houses. The amount is over and above the money spent on ostensibly replacing 13 redundant generators on behalf of said Ministers. At the same time, a further four new generators are in the procurement stage.

load shedding Ministers
Some Cabinet ministers live in a luxury estate outside of Pretoria Central – Photo: Google Maps

DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Samantha Graham-Maré said it is unacceptable that taxpayers sit in the dark while their hard-earned taxes are being used to fund a darkness-free existence for the Cabinet responsible for the Eskom crisis. 

Graham-Maré said that when South Africa lurches from one crisis to another, and citizens are barely managing to put food on their tables, Minister De Lille is nothing more than a modern-day Marie Antoinette.  

“Her ‘let them eat cake’ approach means that she is not only shielding the relevant Ministers from the negative impacts of load shedding experienced by the rest of the country. She is also shielding them from accountability by ignoring a request to provide details of which Ministers have benefitted from generators and diesel,” she said. 

The DA said it would request the details of the Ministers who are the beneficiaries of this load shedding largesse. Should Minister De Lille continue to protect them from exposure, the party will submit a Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) request for further particulars.

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