Come clean on true extent of Eskom crisis: DA leader Mmusi Maimane

22 March 2019 - 12:40 By APHIWE DEKLERK
Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane. File photo
Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane. File photo
Image: Sunday Times / Waldo Swiegers

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to come clean on the extent of the crisis at Eskom.

Maimane said in his letter that it was becoming clear that the country had been misinformed about the extent of the crisis at Eskom.

"The time for manufactured 'shock' and simple apologies is over. The nation urgently requires answers, and it is high time you as president of the republic provide such answers," said Maimane.

Maimane said he wanted transparency on the amount of debt owed by Eskom and the due dates of its payment.

"How much foreign-denominated debt is due by Eskom in the next two months? What is government's plan of action to mitigate the current damage caused to infrastructure by power outages?" asked Maimane.

He asked if Eskom had a disaster-management plan in the event that the crisis at the power utility escalated.

"I also implore you to explain the rationale behind the appointment of deputy president David Mabuza to head up the special cabinet committee to oversee Eskom's turnaround," said Maimane.

He said Mabuza ran Mpumalanga into the ground during his term as premier and was the last person who should be at the helm of a national crisis.

"It is worth noting that when the city of Cape Town faced a water crisis - with the very real threat of the taps running dry - I took political control of the matter and implemented an urgent plan of action to avoid 'Day Zero'.

"First, Cape Town was honest and transparent, despite this being politically  disadvantageous to the DA. We played open cards with residents and communicated the full extent of the crisis," said Maimane.

He said his party had showed residents that there was a credible plan to implement in the event of "Day Zero".

"Therefore, Mr President, I appeal to you to follow suit. Place the national interest ahead of your own political interests and the interests of the ANC, and come clean with the people of SA. We deserve answers," said Maimane.