The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed concern about the ongoing load shedding by state power utility Eskom.
In a statement on Thursday, the ruling party slammed Eskom for not “adequately warning consumers on time” before implementing the rolling blackouts.
ANC’s spokesperson Pule Mabe, who issued the statement, also criticised the power utility for “substandard service.”
He wrote, “It is unacceptable that the masses continue to receive substandard service from the power utility. It is our view that government must move with speed to effect its intervention at Eskom.”
Integrated Resource Plan
ANC also welcomed government’s Integrated Resource Plan, which it said “proposes interventions to ensure the country responds to the energy needs for the next decade.”
Cabinet announced on Thursday that it had approved the promulgation of this Plan.
ANC further lamented high coal prices, which it said caused a 17 percent increase in Eskom’s primary energy costs in its most recent financial year.
It therefore called on government to “urgently engage with the coal industry” to find a common ground with regard to pricing.
DA is ‘point scoring’
The ANC also dismissed the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) online petition to “save Eskom” as “political point scoring.”
“The ANC frowns upon what appears to be desperate measures by the main opposition to hijack the electricity situation in the country for political point scoring,” it said.
The DA has been conducting the online petition to promote its Cheaper Electricity Bill which, among other measures, proposes to break Eskom into two entities and bring on board more independent power producers.
The petition has received more than 69,000 signatures as of Thursday evening. Its target is 100,000.
The ANC said, “We want to categorically state that the ANC-led government is seized with the Eskom matter and will provide the necessary solutions to the energy challenges in the country.”