12 Jul

UASA Media Release: 12 July 2022

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

The energy emergency announcement by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, expected later this week, is to be welcomed. It is high time concrete steps are implemented to tackle the country’s power outages. The nation has been patient for years, grasping at straws each time promises were made and, sadly, broken. It is hard to believe that the electricity crisis will ever be solved and South Africans are sick and tired of empty promises and internal government squabbles.

Why we only see action now, after years of warnings by power experts, shortages and interrupted electricity supply, is a question that begs an answer. UASA takes note of government’s sudden will to strategize solutions for the power crisis but is deeply disappointed with how the system was allowed to deteriorate for years while the energy cluster apparently had peace with the problem at hand, preferring to pursue their own, personal gain.

The first load-shedding occurred over a decade ago and the situation was simply allowed to get out of hand until an irate nation was subjected to up to 6 hours of power cuts per day, driving businesses to ruin, higher un-employment or financial trouble, disrupting households and students, forcing those who could, to spend hard-earned money on alternative power generating equipment and generally making life a daily hell for all while they were still expected to pay rates and taxes for services not delivered.

UASA takes note that Ramaphosa considers the call by the National Planning Commission (NPC) to declare an energy emergency may sound promising but had he or the ruling party seen to minimising the “red tape” that stood in the way of maintaining an efficient power utility years ago, the country would not have been in this mess. The people of South Africa have been miserably failed by the powers that be.

An emergency plan to end load-shedding in two years’ time might work, but let’s not forget that a period of two years to end load-shedding was on the table before and came to nought.

We can only hope that the new strategy bears fruit, including scrapping the time-consuming registration processes at the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), and replacing them with online registration.

Similarly, we can only hope that Eskom, government and other stakeholders will finally be as good as their word and do away with maladministration and corruption no matter what.

South Africans, dazed by repeated blows of disappointment, deserve better than what has been served up thus far. Please don’t disappoint them again.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.