Loadshedding has already had a severe impact on our economy. We had all become accustomed to the impact of daily load shedding, but the introduction of Stage 6 blackouts - in and of themselves a blow to our economic growth prospects - have crystallised the possibility of the worst case scenario: Stage 8 and total darkness.
We are standing on the brink. It's time for the country to pull together. It's time for the President to lead us through this.
Mr President, here in the Western Cape we know what it’s like to see disaster looming large. We all but ran out of water, but we avoided Day Zero.
As a society, we did this by pulling together and doing what was necessary to make it through. Government did this with a flexible, innovative approach which included knowing we didn't have all the answers. We all did this by listening to the excellent advice of other spheres of government, including national government. The private sector did this by helping with technology and efficiencies. Our communities did this by making huge efforts at the individual and family level. We all pulled together. And we did it.
Mr President, this approach is exactly what South Africa needs now to avoid Day Eight:
- Let’s not wait for court action to allow Small Embedded Generation. Allow Municipalities to purchase from IPP’s without long red tape processes. There is no time to waste.
- Convene an urgent meeting with Eskom, the Ministers of Energy and Public Enterprises, Disaster Management and provincial Premiers to plan the next 6 months of energy interventions.
- Gather up the country - and even the world’s - foremost experts on energy and lets urgently see what can be done to steady our supply in this moment of crisis.
From our side Mr President we have activated our Disaster Management Centre to make sure the Western Cape is ready for any blackout scenario in a way that mitigates the impact on our people. I will visit the disaster management centre this morning for an update.
Mr President - show us the leadership we all need by taking these important measures and we will stand with you. You have the power to fix our power.