Today the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, and I conducted an oversight inspection at the Energy and Climate Change Head Quarters in Cape Town.
This comes amidst the biggest energy crisis that our country has ever faced.
City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato and DA Western Cape Premier Candidate Alan Winde addressing the media at the Energy and Climate Change Head Quarters in Cape Town today.
Especially after yesterday’s briefing by Eskom it has become clear that the power utility is broken and almost beyond repair and that after years of mismanagement, corruption and capture the ANC government will not be able to lift our country out of this crisis. They have completely lost control of the situation.
This morning the DA Federal Leader, Mmusi Maimane, announced a national Day of Action next week Friday, 29 March. From now until then, the DA will mobilise South Africans in their thousands, from all walks of like to participate in activities across the country to protest the damage and destruction that the ANC government has caused,.
The complete collapse of Eskom is a long time coming. That is why DA-run governments have taken concrete action at both provincial and city levels to start to manage the impact of ANC failure in the province.
Over the past decade, while the national economy struggled, the DA-run Western Cape delivered half a million new jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Unfortunately, the residents and businesses of the Western Cape are being sabotaged by the ANC’s collapse of Eskom.
When we had stage 4 load shedding for the first time in February, that day cost the Western Cape economy more than R3 billion. We are now on our fifth consecutive day of stage 4 – the cost is going to be enormous. Businesses fail when the lights go out. Investors shy away from the uncertainty over the power supply. This costs jobs and growth.
While today, we announce what we have already done to ensure that the Western Cape keeps on working and that the lights stay on, we will announce further steps and actions to ensure that where the DA governs, the people are protected from the failings of the ANC.
Make no mistake, this crisis was avoidable and can be fixed with the right leadership, as we have shown in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape as a whole.
The Province’s response – Alan Winde, DA Premier Candidate for the Western Cape
In 2016, the Western Cape government embarked on an Energy Security Game Changer, to stabilise our electricity supply and invest in green energy production.
27 IPP contracts that were ready to go and bring about R56 billion in investment were delayed until 2018 while Jacob Zuma’s captured cronies attempted to force a catastrophic nuclear deal on our country. The new bid window that was supposed to open at the end of last year still hasn’t opened.
“The simple fact is that the ANC is intentionally keeping energy and jobs out of the hands of the people of our province. We cannot rely on the national government, and the DA will fight for energy independence from Eskom,” said Winde.
The Western Cape has legalised generating your own electricity with solar panels in 22 municipalities, and in 18 of those, you can sell excess electricity back to the grid. And six studies have been conducted exploring the potential of natural gas to supply power and create jobs in the province.
The DA will continue the fight to source electricity from IPPs. Already, IPP projects in the Western Cape have generated over 3 200 jobs per year, despite national government’s restrictions. Many more jobs could be created through IPPs and lower our unemployment rate even further if we work around the ANC’s resistance to this growth.
The City’s response – Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town
Mayor Plato outlined how the DA-run City of Cape Town has taken active steps to mitigate the energy disaster brought about by the ANC.
“The City recognises that the future lies in energy decentralisation technologies like gas and renewables. This is why we created a dedicated Energy and Climate Change Directorate at the end of 2018,” said Plato.
“As one part of our immediate action plan, we’ve asked the courts to compel the Minister of Energy to allow us to buy cleaner renewable energy from independent power producers.”
To deal with Eskom’s load shedding demands, the City has invested extensively in technologies to assist with the switching process as shedding proceeds. In addition, the Steenbras Dam generation capacity has been used to lower the load shedding stage in Cape Town. It is currently undergoing maintenance to ensure that it continues to function optimally – something Eskom fails to invest in.
The City aims to keep all consumers accurately updated on schedules and the current load shedding stage, especially in light of the unpredictable announcements from Eskom.
Our national pledge
At a national level, the DA has introduced a national bill – the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill – which proposes that Eskom be split into a power-generating entity and a separate power-distribution entity. The power-generating division would compete fairly with other power producers to provide cheaper electricity.
One would think, given how dire South Africa’s electricity shortage is, that the ANC would be doing everything possible to develop new energy suppliers.
It isn’t. Instead, ANC factions fight publicly over whether to allow independent production, while their allies take the government to court to prevent IPPs from providing electricity. The ANC and its allies have one goal: keeping their own pockets lined while blackouts cripple the country.
The ANC’s solution is to pour more bailouts into a corrupt Eskom that it cannot fix. The DA is the only party with a plan of action to keep the lights on permanently in the Western Cape and fight for energy security for our province.
We call on all South Africans to join us on Friday 29 March to send a clear message to Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government that South Africans have had enough of ANC corruption, mismanagement and capture.