POLL | Do you trust cabinet to resolve the power crisis?

21 September 2022 - 13:00
By Kyle Zeeman
President Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet will meet on Wednesday amid load-shedding.
Image: GCIS President Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet will meet on Wednesday amid load-shedding.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet his cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the power crisis, with some questioning whether it will make a difference.

On Sunday Eskom announced it was ramping up power cuts to stage 6. Load-shedding has since been reduced to stage 5.

Ramaphosa cut short an overseas trip to return to the country to join efforts to resolve the catastrophe.

According to Business Day, the president’s office confirmed Eskom would top the agenda.

Two cabinet sources said the meeting would consider changes to the power utilities board.

Eskom chair Malegapuru Makgoba told the publication he had not yet been consulted on changes, additions or additional funding at Eskom.

“The board needs to be complemented, but how that is done is for the minister [public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan] to decide,” he said.

The meeting has sparked a debate on whether government will be able to do enough to keep the lights on.

DA leader John Steenhuisen is among those who have criticised government’s handling of the power crisis, claiming it has the potential to “derail what is left of our economy and destabilise our society”.

“While Eskom’s CEO and COO have finally started to change their language to reflect the true severity of the situation — with words like 'catastrophe' entering their press conference vocabulary — the same cannot be said for President Ramaphosa, [energy] minister [Gwede] Mantashe or minister Gordhan.

“These are the people directly tasked with fixing this crisis, but there is no sign of real urgency from them. In fact, they are proving to be the biggest obstacles to solving the crisis,” he said.

The EFF called for the Eskom board and its executives to be removed.

“The incompetence and arrogance of Eskom executives has plunged SA into perpetual and unwarranted darkness that is killing businesses and livelihoods. The collapse of Eskom and the failure to prove a dependable and consistent energy supply are meant to render the country’s electricity utility redundant and useless,” the party said.

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