On Wednesday, members of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) vowed to defend the integrity of the governing party’s headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg during the DA's march to protest against Eskom’s ongoing rolling blackouts.
Hundreds of DA and civil society members gathered at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, about 500m from the governing party’s headquarters, calling for the ANC to take full accountability for the country's energy crisis which has led to extensive load shedding.
ANCYL task team member Tlangi Mogale said the league had the mandate to defend the ANC's headquarters.
“There is an unspoken rule between political parties not to infringe on another's headquarters. The DA should keep a 100m radius from Luthuli House, and we know they hired black people for R150 each and will use them as human shields so we can't be violent to our own people,” Mogale said.
DA member, Thando Baloyi, told City Press that load shedding was having an adverse impact on his ability to earn an income and support his family.
“I work for a small food franchise in Vosloorus [in Ekurhuleni], so the blackouts have caused me to earn less than half of what I would normally earn. When the electricity goes off, it means that the store has to shut down and we cannot afford a generator, so, the food spoils,” he said.
ANC national executive committee member Nonceba Mhlauli said the DA missed an opportunity to get answers when outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter addressed Parliament on Tuesday.
Mhlauli added that the ANC would be having a broad discussion this week about how different sectors of the economy and civil society could come together to resolve the energy crisis.
“This will comprise various stakeholders and energy experts which will be based on the detailed report by the energy crisis committee over the last six months. We must remember that it was the ANC that tabled an inquiry into Eskom which revealed a range of issues around state capture and Eskom’s debt,” she said.
DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said the country was in a serious crisis and the people could not afford not to express their anger and disapproval. “The ANC cannot continue to play games with the lives of the people. They may control Eskom, but the people will control the votes and they will remove them from power next year,” she said.