DA launches power plan

The issue of load shedding appears to be high on the agenda of politicians ahead of the May polls.

DA leader Helen Zille says sound leadership from government could have prevented a repeat of the 2008 energy crisis. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa would have power for the economy to thrive if the Democratic Alliance (DA) ruled the country, party leader Helen Zille said on Monday.

The Western Cape was severely affected by Eskom's scheduled power cuts last Thursday after the power utility declared a national emergency and imposed countrywide load shedding.

The power cuts were the first since rolling blackouts hit the country in 2008.

The DA on Monday revealed a nine-point plan to address South Africa's electricity crisis immediately.

It includes investigating why Eskom executives get huge bonuses and asking the National Energy Regulator of South African (Nersa) to launch an independent probe.

Zille says sound leadership from government could have prevented a repeat of the 2008 energy crisis.

"In 2008 when we had the rolling blackouts, it cost the economy R200 million a day."

Last week, the parastatal had to implement load shedding for a few hours, saying the grid couldn't keep up with demand.

Some businesses had to close their doors temporarily while health facilities relied on alternative energy.

Operations at airports were also disrupted.

With rain expected for the next few days, Eskom says it cannot rule out the possibility of another round of load shedding.

Meanwhile, the ANC has slammed the DA for its latest campaign.

The DA erected billboards along Gauteng highways reading 'Load shedding. Proudly brought to you by the ANC'.