Co-sign DA Leader, John Steenhuisen’s, letter calling for freedom from Eskom: www.powertothepeople.org.za
As loadshedding and rolling blackouts continue today and into this week, once more our country and economy are placed in peril by the failing ANC government and broken Eskom.
The smokescreen created by government that Eskom can be saved must immediately be lifted, and the fact must be faced: Eskom is in a death spiral dragging South Africa down with it.
Currently, as the ANC government continues to delay and frustrate all means to generate electricity outside of Eskom, the country’s energy future looks incredibly bleak.
For this reason, as loadshedding compromises the country again this week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has begun a nationwide effort to free South Africans from Eskom. This is a broad and intensive program of resident and citizen engagement – both about the daily struggles that electricity shortages are causing, and to dissect our plan to free South Africans from Eskom.
Frankly, after years of broken promises, lies and political failures around Eskom, nothing has been done to make things easier for residents and businesses who face daily power outages. The DA plan will bring alleviation to homes and businesses, if it is implemented.
DA councillors, provincial legislature members and members of parliament will lead intensive engagement efforts in every community around South Africa. I have asked each one of our public representatives to leave no stone unturned. We want to hear from residents, and we want residents to stand with us in support of our plan, as we push national government for the following reforms:
- Most importantly, it is high time that government allows citizens to generate their own power and sell surplus energy to the grid;
- We have written into our 2020/21 national budget proposal real tangible incentives for homeowners to install solar systems by offering up to R75 000.00 in a tax rebate for every home, to reduce reliance on Eskom;
- We also call for zero-rating of VAT on LED lightbulbs and energy-efficient appliances, making these cheaper than electricity-guzzling ones, and most importantly
- Immediately, Minister Gwede Mantashe must allow municipalities to obtain extra electricity from Independent Power Producers, reducing reliance on Eskom. (The City of Cape Town has a court case pending against the Minister of Energy which seeks to force him to approve this, yet he continues to oppose this court case, inexplicably).
These are clear, simple ways in which residents can be freed from Eskom.
Ultimately, after taking the DA’s plans to residents, and with the support of South Africans who want electricity security, the DA will take this fight right to President Ramaphosa who continues to dither in the face of this crisis.
The president has himself made numerous promises about Eskom, and alternative electricity generation, but so far they have been hollow and empty promises, unfulfilled and frustrated by ANC, union and factional battles. It appears that the ANC is unable to implement its own plan.
We need immediate action.
Our country and its economy simply cannot afford another month, another week, even another day of these horrendous rolling blackouts.
Thus, in the void left by the ANC government, the DA will engage hundreds of thousands of South Africans who support our clear alternative. That will be a wave of support which the ANC government can no longer ignore.
There will be frequent updates as this effort rolls out.