Please find an attached soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP
Instead of providing an honest assessment of the true state of the grid, Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan made misleading promises on the steps that his Department and Eskom were taking to address the loadshedding crisis.
In his address, Gordhan gave the false assurance that 2000MW will be made available this morning as some units have been brought back online. He said this additional capacity would take the country to stage 3 of loadshedding.
Despite Gordhan’s assurance, South Africans woke up this morning to the same stage 4 rolling blackouts that they had been subjected to the previous day. It beggars belief that, instead of playing open cards with the nation during a crisis, Gordhan decided that it was better to mislead.
Then again, Gordhan’s misleading political speech was hardly surprising. Earlier in the day, the ANC had accused Eskom of using the blackouts to advance a political agenda. Disingenuously disregarding its culpability in the collapse of Eskom through state capture and corruption, the ANC now demands answers while fomenting conspiracies to protect its own electoral fortunes.
It’s telling that Gordhan only emerged from a period of inexplicable silence to address the nation when the ANC expressed concern that loadshedding was bound to affect its electoral prospects. Clearly, if there was no election on the horizon, Gordhan would have kept his silence and ignored the pleas of South Africans.
The real danger now is that, with pressure from the ANC to keep the lights on until election day on Monday, Eskom may be forced to stretch the generation units to breaking point, exponentially increasing the risk of grid collapse.
DA governments have come to the realisation that they need to free residents from a collapsing Eskom by increasing investment in renewable energy and purchasing power directly from Independent Power Producers. The DA leads the way – in this crisis even – by managing to keep the DA-led Cape Town at stage 3 loadshedding.
Now, South Africans have an opportunity, on November 1, to take the power away from the ANC in much the same way as it has taken electricity away from them.