Cape Town – Several political parties have welcomed the withdrawal of the National State of Disaster on Electricity, two months after it was implemented.
The state of disaster declared by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) on 9 February 2023 was terminated with immediate effect on Wednesday.
Following the announcement, Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa assured South Africans that the withdrawal of state of disaster would not stop the government’s plans to procure new electricity generation.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said the termination indicated that the ANC-government admits that the state of disaster was never going to be able to solve the country’s ongoing electricity crisis.
“It was not going to survive the legal challenges brought about by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa),” said Mashaba.
“The reality is that two months since the state of disaster was introduced, the electricity situation has not changed with load-shedding stages 4 or higher being a daily occurrence and set to increase as the country enters the cold winter period.
Mashaba said the government must account for the actions taken under the state of disaster regulations to ensure abuse did not occur or that they had an adverse impact.
Meanwhile, DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia said the national state of disaster under the pretence of dealing with the electricity crisis was only going to empower the ruling party to abuse procurement processes.
“The reality is that the ANC cannot fix the load-shedding crisis it created,” Cachalia said.
He said the ANC must refocus its attention on making electricity generation the biggest priority in the next five years.
“In the short term, South Africa needs to secure the amount of power made available by Eskom’s fleet of power plants to meet the minimum demands of consumers. At the same time, we need to open up — with speed — alternative sources of supply from Independent Power Producers to boost our generation capacity.” said Cachalia.
Build One SA leader Mmusi Maimane said the state of disaster was a “bad idea from day one”.
“It was an attempt at going back to the Covid-19 looting season. The minister of electricity is a bad idea, he is even denying that there is corruption at Eskom. The application for exemptions was also a bad idea,” said Maimane.
Picture: Twitter/ @Action4SA
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe