Those Responsible for Energy Crisis in South Africa Are Committed to Resolving it

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  • South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, has assured South Africans that the gazetted regulations for the National State of Disaster pertaining to the impact of Severe Electricity Supply Constraints will provide government with “the extraordinary measures required to deal with our energy constraints”.
  • Under the leadership of Gungubele and the presidency, the country’s state owned power utility, Eskom, has been  plagued by major incidences of theft, questionable equipment failure and acts of sabotage which, along with a legacy of poor planning, maintenance and corruption, over the last decade, has spiralled the country into a major energy crisis where daily blackouts are costing the economy a massive R950 million a day.

Gungubele was addressing media on Friday morning.

“The National State of Disaster emphasises our determination to support and work with all South Africans and sectors of society negatively affected by the severe electricity supply. The regulations aim to assist, protect and provide relief to the public; protect property; prevent and combat disruption; and to deal with the destructive nature and other effects of the disaster.

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“We are confident that regulations will provide the extra-ordinary measures required to deal with our energy constraints. These regulations came into operation on the date of publication in the Government Gazette,” he said.

The Minister acknowledged the social and economic impact that the current electricity challenges are having on the country.

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“We work hard and understand the plight all those who have been affected by the devastation of the power outages. We appreciate the cooperation from all sectors and society at large as we respond this disaster. In this way, we can all ensure efforts that yield to the end of load shedding,” he said.

Gungubele said the experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic – which also required a declaration of a National State of Disaster – will stand government in good stead heading into addressing the current electricity crisis.

“The lessons learnt during our successful fight against the global pandemic where extraordinary measures under the auspices of the State of the Disaster legislation assisted in saving lives and livelihoods, have been at the heart of current efforts to strengthen our response as government to the deteriorating energy situation in our country.

“These regulations are to ensure that the country does not get into a state of emergency and not to undermine any social liberty or the rights of individuals or groups in any way,” he said.

The Minister emphasised and reiterated government’s stance that no State funds will be lost to corruption during the National State of Disaster and that measures are in place to protect government coffers.

“As we set out to mobilise resources to support and address the disaster, we are putting measures in place to safeguard these financial resources. Government, working with all stakeholders will ensure that all the resources we mobilise are used for their intended purposes and reach the intended recipients.

“Various oversight structures like the Auditor-General and Parliament as set out in the regulations will monitor the use of funds. Specifically, the Auditor General will undertake real time audits whilst reports to Parliament have to be submitted by respective institutions in the month where expenditure took place and also reports have to be published.

“Our focus is to ensure that there is value for money, transparency and accountability as the projects are costed and implemented,” he said.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal



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