DA headed to court over state of disaster despite calling for it too

In a surprise move, the DA said it feared a looting spree similar to the one seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the party previously calling for the energy crisis to be declared a disaster.

DA leader John Steenhuisen expressed reservations at President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring the country's energy crisis a state of disaster. Picture: @Our_DA / Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA), after months of calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to consider declaring a state of disaster over the power crisis, is now headed to the courts.

On Thursday night, Ramaphosa announced the national state of disaster would be implemented with immediate effect during his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

The DA had previously called for a ring-fenced state of disaster to curb rolling power cuts.

Even its Western Cape Premier Alan Winde wrote to the president, several ministers, and Eskom, calling for them to consider going this route.

Winde, in his letter to the president last month, which Eyewitness News has seen, cites the Disaster Management Act, saying existing legislature and contingencies could not adequately address the crisis.

READ: Winde gives Ramphosa ultimatum on coming clean about SA's energy crisis

He even said the demands for a state of disaster was both reasonable and consistent with constitutional principles.

During his Sona, Ramaphosa said the intervention had already been gazetted, and also announced there would be a minister of electricity who will be placed in the presidency.

This did not go down well with some, as fears of a looting frenzy as seen during the COVID-19 era set in.

Ramaphosa assured the Auditor-General would be brought in to ensure the continuous monitoring of expenditure, to guard against the abuse of funds .

It is this fear the DA said it was worried about, in spite of its own past calls for a state of disaster.