Extract of Premier's SONA debate speech | Western Cape Government



Extract of Premier's SONA debate speech

14 February 2023

Media release: Extract from the speech Premier Winde delivered on the occasion of the State of the Nation Address parliamentary debate

Today Premier Alan Winde had the privilege of participating in the parliamentary debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address.

In his speech, delivered at Cape Town City Hall, Premier Winde stated, “South Africa is in a disaster.” The Premier went on to point out to the President  some of the more startling numbers and facts that characterise the energy crisis gripping South Africa:

  • It has been over 5 500 days since South Africans first experienced rolling blackouts.
  • It has been almost 3 000 days since then deputy-President Cyril Ramaphosa was made responsible for the Eskom War-Room.
  • It has been over 200 days since President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation with his crisis interventions after 3 weeks of the worst period of power cuts in South Africa’s history.
  • We have had 167 days of power cuts since September 2022 with only 2 days without rolling blackouts.
  • We already have 3 Ministers who are responsible in one way or another to make sure we fix this problem.
  • The President has now announced a new minister for electricity in this growing “Imperial Presidency”.
  • And as of Thursday, 9 February we have a minister responsible for the State of the Disaster.
  • This is the problem with this imperial presidency: political rhetoric, lavish spending, no detail, and contradictory information.
  • We now have 4 ministers responsible for fixing this problem and we put another “Minister of Disasters” on top of those 4 ministers, giving us 5 ministers with some part of the crisis to resolve.

Since the State of Disaster on the energy crisis was declared in the President’s SONA on 9 February, there has been no clarity on the regulations that will govern this emergency response. “We have not seen the regulations,” said the Premier. He stressed in his speech today, “The clarity is glaringly missing.”

In his closing remarks Premier Winde added, “On 24 February last year, almost a year ago, the Russian government illegally invaded Ukraine. And what was the consequence of that illegal war? An energy crisis in Europe.”

In stark contrast to how national government is tackling South Africa’s energy crisis, “Germany built a gasification plant in 192 days, “ Premier Winde told Members of Parliament. He added, “The Dutch did one better than that taking 160 days to create their own gasification system so they could mitigate their energy risks.” If South Africa is to resolve the energy crisis here we have to inject that same level of urgency and action into every aspect of our response to the crisis, not more rhetoric.