DA’s Maimane says Eskom load-shedding is an ‘ANC crisis’

2015-01-12 00:00

DA PARLIAMENTARY leader Mmusi Maimane lambasted President Jacob Zuma for blaming Eskom’s load-shedding crisis on bad planning during apartheid.

At the ANC’s 103rd bithday celebration in Cape Town at the weekend, Zuma said: “We don’t feel guilty about the energy issue. It is not our problem of today but a historical problem, one of apartheid, that we are resolving.”

Maimane said the president’s statement is the reason why the country faces an electricity crisis. He described it as an “ANC-made crisis”.

“Load-shedding is job-shedding. And many hard-working South Africans will continue to lose their jobs as long as those in power deny the crisis we face.”

He said the inequality in society is testament to apartheid’s devastating effect and no one can dispute that.

He added that South Africa is literally running on diesel today, burning 140 million litres a month to keep the lights on.

Zuma’s utterances flew in the face of those of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki who admitted in 2007 that “Eskom was right and government was wrong” and that government failed to heed Eskom’s calls to invest in electricity.

Maimane said the country was on the verge of an economic shutdown, and was at risk of the country’s rating being downgraded to junk status.

“And as we speak, Eskom is broke and cannot afford the R1 billion worth of diesel it needs for February. We are on the doorstep of an economic shutdown.”

He said Zuma can no longer use the evil of apartheid to justify steps his government could have taken to avoid “this crisis”.

“The fact is the ANC has profited directly from delays in building these power stations. We have not forgotten ANC front company Chancellor Houses’ stake in the R38,5 billion boiler contract at Medupi.”

Maimane said SA citizens are demanding solutions, not “denialism from those in power”.

“There is an urgent need to give independent power producers the opportunity to contribute electricity to the grid.”

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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