Political parties threaten protests against load-shedding
Indefinite stage 6 load-shedding coupled with the announcement of an 18.65% hike in the price of power has prompted calls for a national shutdown
With growing frustration over the country’s energy crisis, several political parties have threatened to protest against rolling blackouts and tariff hikes.
Indefinite stage 6 load-shedding coupled with the announcement of an 18.65% increase in the price of electricity has prompted calls for a national shutdown.
Eskom welcomed the price increase decision by the National Energy Regulator of SA, saying it “will positively contribute from a financial and sustainability point of view”.
“The revenue determination of R319bn and R352bn for the financial years will allow a further migration towards a price level that reflects the indefinite stage 6 load-shedding coupled with the announcement of an 18.65% increase in the price of electricity has prompted calls for a national shutdown over the cost of producing electricity,” said Eskom CFO Calib Cassim.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) encouraged citizens to act against the ANC.
“With the unemployment rate sitting at 63.9% for those aged 15 to 24, and 42.1% for those aged 25 to 34 years, the entire workforce of the country is at risk of retrenchment due to load-shedding. Take a stand. Make your voice heard,” said the party.
It said the effects of load-shedding on the healthcare system are dire.
“Nonfunction of hospital elevators severely restricts the movement of patients and staff. There have been reports of complete loss of radiological and pathological services. Take a stand,” said ATM.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party was organising a protest march to the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on January 25.
“Through its corrupt system of cadre deployment the ANC centralised all power in Luthuli House. That is why the DA is taking our fight against load-shedding directly to the source of this crisis: the ANC,” said Steenhuisen.
“It is time to show the ANC we do not accept that it always chooses the option most painful to ordinary South Africans and least painful to themselves — load-shedding and price hikes — when what they should be doing is closing the taps on their own corruption, unbundling Eskom and privatising most of it, opening the electricity market to private competition, bringing in skilled engineers and exempting Eskom and other energy producers from all cumbersome localisation and BEE rules,” he said.
“We do not accept that while the ANC is subjecting ordinary South Africans to 11 hours of load-shedding per day, the residences of the president, his cabinet ministers and his deputy ministers get no load-shedding at all.
“The very people who have broken Eskom are exempting themselves from the effects of their own failure. This is why they have no sense of urgency to fix their own mess.”
EFF leader Julius Malema said the party will continue to fight load-shedding.
He did not mention plans about a shutdown any time soon.
Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie said the success of the national shutdown would be dependent on it being depoliticised.
“You are first a citizen before you are a member of a political party and load-shedding affects all citizens, even those who are off grid. Let’s protest together as South Africans.”
He said the days of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government were numbered.
“The government of Cyril Ramaphosa will not survive another 12 months of rolling blackouts. South Africans everywhere have had enough. How do you go to bed with no power and wake up with no power?” asked McKenzie.
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