Premier notes announcements in President’s SONA on energy crisis
Media release: Premier notes announcements in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address with regards to the catastrophic energy crisis.
Premier Alan Winde said, “Load shedding is a major disaster for the citizens of the Western Cape and South Africa. We need the enabling effects in place to urgently fix the energy system to end loadshedding, but intrusive regulations will be a double disaster and cripple our response.”
He added, “With all enabling effects we must put checks and balances in place as we did in the Western Cape during the COVID-19 pandemic where full transparency was in place. For example, the provincial government published detailed information about every PPE transaction, per department, every month to be transparent and prevent corruption in the province. As the Premier of the Western Cape I will be engaging the Speaker of the provincial legislature to resurrect an oversight committee and ensure that our Energy Council, for example, reports to this committee.”
Premier Winde expressed disappointed that the President in his SONA did not:
- Extend the exemption granted by National Treasury to the City of Cape Town to buy back electricity from households and businesses to all competent, and well-run municipalities;
- Aside from the announcement of a state of disaster spell out in detail how National Treasury will relax procurement regulations at all levels of government which will allow easier sourcing of energy-related products or services with rigorous oversight;
- Provide explicit detail on improving and protecting the grid distribution network so that energy can be easily fed into the grid by power producers to desperate households and businesses; and
- Give a commitment that provinces that take the steps to reduce their electricity usage will be ring-fenced with an equivalent level of loadshedding. This can be achieved through detailed and practical steps on the national Demand-Side Management initiative.
The Western Cape Government (WCG) is the only provincial government to have taken meaningful steps to ameliorate the impact of rolling power cuts on critical services. In January the WCG authorised the emergency release of almost R89 million for the procurement of backup generators to ensure municipal services such as water supply, wastewater treatment, and sewerage infrastructure that are hardest hit by ongoing loadshedding are safeguarded as far as possible.
The collapse of the country’s energy production capabilities infringes on the rights of our citizens as well as the duties of provincial and local governments to carry out their constitutional mandates and obligations to the country’s residents.
The Western Cape is being bold and decisive in tackling the energy crisis.