The Inkatha Freedom Party calls upon President Cyril Ramaphosa to break his silence, and address the nation on the ever-growing crisis that is Eskom.
At what ‘stage’ will the President feel prompted to speak to the people of South Africa? At what ‘stage’ will he step in, step up, and provide the urgent solutions this swiftly unfolding calamity deserves?
On the homepage of the Eskom website, it states, in relation to customer complaints, “At Eskom, we always try to give our customers the best service, but we may not always meet customers’ expectations”.
With South Africans forced to spend almost 12 hours a day over the past few days without electricity, we can confidently state that Eskom is most certainly not meeting expectations. Rather, it is spectacularly failing to deliver on its most basic mandate: to keep the lights on.
In a 1 July media article, Chief Economist of Alexander Forbes, Isaah Mhlanga, is quoted as saying “Eskom’s prolonged stage 6 load shedding has already caused significant damage to the country’s economy, with over R4 billion wiped from the GDP for each day it continues.”
This is clearly a national crisis of epic proportions, with a debilitating socio-economic impact.
To add insult to injury, the Minister of Public Enterprises, in a response to a parliamentary question, gives Eskom his full support: “I have got confidence [in the] Eskom CEO and management to turnaround Eskom’s generation performance and reduce load shedding that is affecting our economy.”
In February, Treasury committed another R21.9 billion of the Budget to Eskom for 2022/23: yet now, we have more extreme loadshedding than ever before.
It is apparent that there is an absence of leadership – both politically and administratively. The Minister, Eskom Board, and its executive are not fit-for-purpose.
As the IFP, we are demanding consequences. The Department of Public Enterprises must be dismantled, and all entities must be placed in their line function departments.
Regarding Eskom: the stranglehold they have on the country’s electricity supply must be broken. Public-private partnerships must be fast-tracked, and municipal capacity strengthened for the distribution of electricity. Red-tape and other administrative obstacles hampering IPPs from delivering must be removed.
In April 2022, Eskom’s National Control Manager, Gavin Hurford, said Eskom anticipated “about 100 days of load shedding over the winter season”. If this estimate is even partially correct, and we experience 50 days of Stage 6 loadshedding, Project South Africa might as well close up shop now.
The economy will not survive.
Hon. Mkhuleko Hlengwa
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539