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DA: Privatising Eskom, increasing competition will avert power grid collapse

Eskom has been struggling to keep the lights on as it battles a R420 billion debt burden, capacity issues, and serious allegations of corruption.

The DA held a press briefing on 25 March 2019 at its headquarters in Bruma, Johannesburg, to announce its action plan to address the energy crisis facing South Africa. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – With South Africa facing energy uncertainty, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it believes that partially privatising Eskom and increasing competition will assist the country to avert a total grid collapse.

Eskom has been struggling to keep the lights on as it battles a R420 billion debt burden, capacity issues, and serious allegations of corruption.

The DA on Monday called for an urgent reconvening of Parliament to deal with the crisis.

During a briefing in Johannesburg, the party also announced that it is gearing up for a national day of action this Friday against the power crisis and the electricity tariff increase which comes into effect from next week.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that he believes the country can overcome the current power crisis and said the party expected to table a number of proposals before Parliament.

“There can be no sabotage when you refuse to change the laws that would make it possible for us to avert what crisis seems to threaten the future of South Africa.”

Maimane said that government needed to act swiftly to address the problems at Eskom before it was too late.

“With the potential collapse of the energy grid and the threat it poses for the people of South Africa, there must be an urgent action taken in this regard.”

The DA said it also believes the solution to the crisis included the unbundling of Eskom into two entities, mainly supply and distribution.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)