'It is time to cut ANC's power' - DA

17 February 2019 - 13:45 By APHIWE DEKLERK and NONKULULEKO NJILO
On Sunday February 17 2019, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen unveiled a billboard in Johannesburg highlighting Eskom and the ANC’s failure to keep the lights on.
On Sunday February 17 2019, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen unveiled a billboard in Johannesburg highlighting Eskom and the ANC’s failure to keep the lights on.
Image: Alon Skuy

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen has criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointing his deputy, David Mabuza, to lead a cabinet committee to oversee Eskom after the state power utility introduced load-shedding last week.

"To put Mr David Mabuza, a man who ran his province into the ground in Mpumalanga, in charge of reviving the fortunes of Eskom, is frankly ridiculous" said Steenshuisen.

His comments come after Ramaphosa put Mabuza in charge of the team which will give Ramaphosa daily updates on actions needed to secure energy supply.

Ramaphosa was given a similar task by then president Jacob Zuma when the country introduced load shedding in 2014.

Steenhuisen was speaking to journalists at the Queen Elizabeth Bridge in Johannesburg on Sunday where the party unveiled a billboard pinning last week’s load-shedding on the ruling ANC.

The billboard reads: "The ANC has killed the lights affecting 57 million South Africans! Time for us to take their power."

He said Ramaphosa’s announcement during his state of the nation address that Eskom would be broken up into three separate entities was not enough because the entities were going to be left in the hands of the state.

Steenhuisen said the move was also unlikely to drive down the crippling prices of electricity.

"What’s very clear is that the ANC don’t have a plan. They want to hang on to this romantic socialist notion of full state-owned entities and romantically hang on to Eskom as one big monopoly,” said Steenhuisen.

He said the country needed to bring in private sector players which would also ensure a new energy generation sector in the country.

"It's also very clear that the president’s hands are tied by his own party and his own alliance partners. Just a few days after the president announced reforms at Eskom, the secretary-general of the ANC came out in the newspaper completely resistant on those reforms,” said Steenhuisen.

He said if there was no competition in the sector, the country was going to continue to see more load-shedding and job losses.  

Just last month, the DA unveiled another billboard listing the names of children who died after falling into pit latrines and the victims of the Marikana and Life Esidimeni tragedies which was later vandalised.

The DA faced a backlash after some felt the billboard — which attacks the ANC — was "insensitive". The billboard was part of the launch of the DA's #TheANCIsKillingSA campaign in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

"We’re saying the ANC have cut people’s power and it’s time for the people to cut the ANC’s power," added Steenhuisen.


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