WATCH | Address load shedding, unemployment as matter of urgency, alliance partners urge ANC

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  • The ANC's alliance partners have cautioned the governing party to address the load shedding and unemployment crisis. 
  • They made the call during the ANC's 111th anniversary celebrations on Sunday. 
  • The party commemorated its 111th year in existence in the Free State. 

"The immediate challenges facing not only the ANC but also the alliance and the entire country include stopping load shedding as a matter of urgency."

This was the warning issued to the ANC by its alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, on Sunday as the governing party celebrated its 111 years in existence. 

SACP general-secretary Solly Mapaila said "overcoming the overall energy production and supply security crisis and moving forward to ensure a just transition in all respects - including in the sphere of finance" was a necessity. 

He reiterated state power had a crucial role to play in resuscitating the socio-economic situation of all citizens. 

The alliance partners, who have been critical of the government's energy plan, warned they would not accept "a transition that will lead to the destruction of work through retrenchments", adding "condemning active towns in energy producing areas into ghost towns will be unjust".

South Africa must, according to Mapaila, therefore move more decisively in advancing carbon capture and sequestration regarding coal as an input in energy production, "given our massive national endowment of the resource". 

READ | ANC raises millions at birthday celebration dinner, and golf day

"This must form part of our mixed energy policy and just transition programme, which must include new publicly-owned power stations to build self-sufficiency in electricity generation and supply," Mapaila said. 

The SACP general-secretary also cautioned against taking marching orders from "imperialist powers of Western Europe", saying South Africa should not be pressured to abandon the use of coal in energy production. 

"In contradiction, Western Europe has rapidly increased their imports of our coal in the face of the stinging impact they experienced after their unilateral sanctions as part of the US-dominated NATO against Russia.

"Let us not forget. The economies of the global north are cumulatively the worst polluters in historical context," said Mapaila. 

Ramaphosa acknowledged during his own address that addressing the energy crisis needed to be at the forefront of the government's plans. 

'We need to end load shedding'

"We need to end load shedding because it is one of the biggest impediments to our recovery projects. We must return Eskom's generation capacity to acceptable levels," he said. 

Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi stressed the need for the ANC to try and rebuild the fractured relations between labour and the governing party. 

She said the ANC-led government's reneging on an agreed upon wage agreement in 2021 has left a bad taste in the mouths of public servants. 

Losi also cautioned the ANC's renewal process was being tainted by the criminally charged leaders continuing with their duties among the governing party. 

READ | Ailing Mangaung metro a hive of activity as ANC commemorates its 111th-anniversary celebrations

"We cannot have leaders with criminal charges leading the nation," she said. 

The alliance partners were giving a message of support during the ANC's 111th anniversary celebration that took place at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Rocklands, a district in the Free State just south-west of Pretoria. 

The festivities took place at the packed stadium that has a 15 000 capacity.

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