The DA would like to thank each and every South African who participated in the “Power to the People” mass protests against ANC loadshedding and unjust electricity price increases, in Johannesburg and across the country.
Thousands of our compatriots made their voices heard on the National Day of Action against the ANC for the role that the party played in collapsing Eskom and engineering the ongoing electricity crisis.
This is a first of many public action campaigns that the DA will be making until the ANC government wakes up from its slumber and fixes the loadshedding mess that they have created.
A few hours after the end of the DA’s mass action, Eskom escalated its loadshedding scheduling to stage 5 – further underlining the depth of crisis that the country is facing. Conspicuous by his absence in this worsening crisis is the ANC’s ‘Chief Slumberer in Chief’, who also moonlights as the state President – Cyril Ramaphosa.
It has become untenable for Ramaphosa to continue hiding behind the walls of the Union Buildings, while loadshedding is wreaking havoc across the economy, devastating people’s livelihoods and putting national security at risk. Ramaphosa cannot ignore the anger festering across the country and should now come out of hiding and address the nation on the escalating loadshedding crisis.
The real tragedy of South Africa’s electricity crisis is that Ramaphosa has chosen to take the back seat and defer to his disastrous Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe. This lack of leadership on the electricity crisis has been at the center of the poor implementation of his Energy Response Plan, six months after it was launched in July 2022.
Ramaphosa’s hurried attempt to paint a positive picture on the progress made by his National Energy Crisis Committee (NECOM) on the implementation of his Energy Response Plan, failed to hide the undeniable reality that they missed key targets and could possibly be trying to save face amidst a progressively worsening electricity crisis.
The DA’s Energy Response Plan Implementation Tracker (hereafter referred to as the Tracker), launched a month after the release of Ramaphosa’s Energy Plan, reveals that practical interventions to increase generation capacity and increase energy availability have either stalled or completely gone off track. Stymied by a NECOM body that is constantly pointing fingers at imaginary foes, the plan has become a political football for the ANC’s warring factions with no clear path towards full implementation.
Amidst this lack of leadership, DA governments are showing the way on how to fix the electricity crisis. Recently, the City of Cape Town initiated a first of its kind initiative to buy electricity from homeowners and businesses who are privately generating power. This has the potential to provide residents with increased protection from loadshedding, in addition to the prevailing system where Cape Town has one stage lower of loadshedding than the rest of the country.
With the looming 2024 national elections, South Africans only have to look at the practical steps that have been taken by DA governments to address loadshedding. Only the DA has a plan to end the electricity crisis and give power back to the people.