I echo the words of Hon. Hlengwa, who called for this Debate on behalf of the IFP, and I furthermore submit before this House that we must draw a line in the sand once and for all on Eskom.
Many of the speakers outlined the technical, operational, managerial and leadership issues faced by Eskom. Still, many of the speakers failed to mention the millions of South Africans who suffer from Eskom’s rolling blackouts and the thousands of businesses held at ransom by Eskom, that are struggling to make ends meet.
This Debate today should not be one whereby we rejoice in the failures of this state-owned entity. We have a duty to our country, as Members of this House, to ensure that Eskom does better.
Speaker, South Africans want heads to roll; South Africans want justice, and we want those who are responsible for the dismal failure of Eskom to generate sufficient electricity to power our economy and homes to be held to account, and hauled over coals.
Parliament will lose its bite if we keep barking in this House with zero consequences.
Our words here cannot be ignored and tabled in Hansard to sit on a shelf for years. As Members of this House, we must unanimously agree to the solutions that all have offered in turning Eskom into a viable entity, capable of delivering on its mandate.
Honourable Speaker, we need to move our country’s energy generation capacity into the 21st century. This is possible through the many interventions we have adopted in this House to allow independent power producers to generate electricity directly to the national grid.
We need to ensure that we empower local and district municipalities financially to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs who can offer innovative and climate-sensitive solutions while creating jobs and developing local communities.
Our people are standing by, waiting to assist Eskom, and they are ready to get our country powered up and ready to work.
Honourable Speaker, as I conclude, we have the talent in our country. We have leaders who are trusted, and we have the capabilities to be a beacon of hope on the African continent.
If the government allows Eskom to fail, it could push South Africa over the brink into becoming a failed state. The IFP will not stand idly by and watch as our country regresses deeper into crisis.
I thank you.