The DA can announce that we are organising a major protest march to the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 25 January against the ANC-engineered electricity crisis. We invite all South Africans to join us to voice their anger at the ANC’s destruction of our country’s energy infrastructure and economy, and to demand urgent solutions to this escalating crisis.

The DA’s protest will specifically target Luthuli House, because this is the scene of the crime that the ANC continues to perpetrate against the people of South Africa through permanent stage 6 load shedding and the latest 18.65% electricity tariff increase. It is at Luthuli House where, over the past three decades, the decisions were made to “deploy” the corrupt and incompetent cadres who plundered and destroyed Eskom. It is at Luthuli House that corrupt tenders were handed out, including for the ill-fated construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations that have cost our country so dearly.

Through its corrupt system of cadre deployment, the ANC centralised all power in Luthuli House. That is why the DA is taking our fight against load shedding directly to the source of this crisis: the ANC.

There is only one organisation that is responsible for the misery and hardship that the electricity crisis is causing all South Africans. The guilty party is the African National Congress, and it is time to hold this criminal organisation accountable.

We urge all South Africans to join us as we stand up against decades of abuse at the hands of the ANC. It is time to put up a united fight against the party that caused this crisis. South Africa needs to show the ANC in no uncertain terms that we are united against their uncaring and unfair treatment of households and businesses, and that we will not accept it any longer.

We are fed up with paying for ANC corruption and mismanagement. We do not accept, and we cannot afford, the 18,65% increase this year or the 12,74% next year, which is a total increase of 33.77% over the next two years.

Households are battling to put food on the table. Businesses are struggling to pay their staff. Stage 6 loadshedding is costing South Africa between four and six billion rand per day.

It is time to show the ANC that we do not accept that it always chooses the option most painful to ordinary South Africans and least painful to themselves – loadshedding and price hikes – when what they should be doing is closing the taps on their own corruption, unbundling Eskom and privatizing most of it, opening the electricity market to private competition, bringing in skilled engineers, and exempting Eskom and other energy producers from all cumbersome localization and BEE rules.

We do not accept that while the ANC is subjecting ordinary South Africans to 11 hours of loadshedding per day, the residences of the President, his cabinet ministers and his deputy ministers get no load-shedding at all. The very people who have broken Eskom are exempting themselves from the effects of their own failure. This is why they have no sense of urgency to fix their own mess.

We do not accept that while the ANC is forcing ordinary South Africans to pay 33% price hikes, the president and his cabinet ministers and deputy ministers don’t have to pay for electricity at their residences because they force the rest of us to pay it for them.

We are tired of a president who makes empty promises, and then shirks responsibility and plays the victim.

Join the DA in the streets of Johannesburg on 25 January, as we send an unequivocal message to the ANC: we are gatvol of your mismanagement and corruption, and we are going to remove you from power at the next election.

Enough is enough. It is time to give power back to the people, and the only way to do that is to vote the ANC out of power in 2024.

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John Steenhuisen

John Steenhuisen is federal leader of the Democratic Alliance, opposition party of the Republic of South Africa.

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