Unions shouldn't fear IPPs - DA's Alan Winde

2019-03-25 20:00
Alan Winde (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais)

Alan Winde (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais)

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Unions "mustn't be scared" of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), DA Western Cape premier candidate, Alan Winde, said on Monday.

After 10 days of rolling blackouts, and despite reassurances from Eskom that load shedding is not anticipated this week, Winde maintains that "the risk is not gone".

He commented on concerns about job losses due to IPPs, as highlighted by unions, saying that "the unions can say what they like but Eskom has more jobs now per KWh (kilowatt hour) undelivered than any other energy producer in the world".

"I want to say to the unions that that they mustn't be scared of Independent Power Producers because Independent Power Producers create jobs. Yes, it could put Eskom jobs at risk but there's definitely a whole other side to the equation and that's a whole lot of other jobs that will be created.

"What are the unions saying about the thousands and thousands of jobs that are at risk now because Eskom is not providing any electricity?"

Winde was addressing a small group of journalists as he launched the provincial leg of the DA's #KeepTheLightsOn campaign - a plan to deal with the ongoing crisis of electricity supply.

"I want to state categorically - I don't want to see Eskom go away - I want to see Eskom survive because if [it] doesn't survive, our economy doesn't survive.

"To help them survive we need to diversify. They need more Independent Power Producers," Winde said.

Economy 

He continued that service delivery will suffer.

"Our electrical system is not built to handle load shedding switching. Breakdowns will become more frequent, and systems harder to maintain – risking large grid collapses," said Winde.

"Local governments will lose large amounts of electricity revenue, making it difficult to budget for general service delivery," Winde said.

"Key services like water, need electricity to power the pumps. Our local governments are worried that load shedding exceeding two weeks will reduce their ability to provide water, keep clinics open, remove rubbish and run the sewerage system.

READ: DA's energy solution can work within a week – Natasha Mazzone

"Extended load shedding will kill our economy, with smaller businesses feeling the brunt. This costs jobs, and makes it harder to pay off the massive debt crushing Eskom."

As part of the DA's campaign, 10 000 posters and 25 000 leaflets highlighting the energy crisis and the DA's plan to resolve it, will be distributed throughout the province from Monday.

In addition, a petition will be released and on Friday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane will launch a National Day of Action.

Commenting on the impetus behind the plan, Winde said "we're not resilient as a country right now because our energy producer is under such pressure, badly managed, [troubled by] corrupt activity and has gotten us in a position where we have a big, big problem to deal with electricity going forward".

Read more on:    da  |  alan winde
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