The Democratic Alliance (DA) strongly condemns recent statements by the ANC’s Fikile Mbalula, alleging a connection between South Africa’s chronic load-shedding crisis and the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET).
Luthuli House’s Blame Game on Load-Shedding and JET Investment
Reckless Insinuations and Baseless Claims
The DA denounces Mbalula’s attempt to insinuate that the JET agreement, an $8.8 billion investment in transitioning from coal to sustainable energy, is the sole cause of the load-shedding crisis. Such statements are deemed reckless, misleading, and lacking in factual basis.
Distorting Reality of Load-Shedding Crisis
The condemnation emphasizes that scapegoating the JET agreement overlooks the underlying issue – a 16-year debacle of ANC corruption and mismanagement, notably impacting critical infrastructure like Eskom.
Misleading Assertion on Coal-Fired Plant Closures
Mbalula’s assertion that the closure of coal-fired plants, aligned with the JET agreement, is solely responsible for blackouts is debunked.
The condemnation highlights that only one unit of the Komati power station was taken offline, with eight units having shut down over several previous years due to their end of life cycle.
Dysfunction of Eskom’s Coal Fleet
The condemnation points out the dysfunction of Eskom’s coal fleet, nearing the end of its lifespan, leading to unplanned outages and ongoing maintenance issues – factors not addressed by misleading claims.
ANC’s Responsibility for Eskom’s Crisis
The DA firmly holds the ANC accountable for Eskom’s disastrous state, emphasizing mismanagement, state capture, and inadequate investment in new energy generation as root causes of the consistent energy deficit and regular load-shedding.
Responsible Leadership Needed
Rather than finding scapegoats, the DA urges the ANC to focus on rectifying the dire situation at Eskom and assumes responsibility for their actions.
The condemnation stresses the importance of reliable energy sources and maintaining crucial relationships with international financial partners invested in South Africa’s just energy transition.
Call for Accountability
The DA concludes by urging the ANC to cease blame-shifting and calls for a responsible administration that prioritizes rectification over deflecting blame, ensuring South Africans have access to reliable and stable energy sources.