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Ramaphosa declares state of disaster over energy crisis

By Ntombi Mhlongo

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of disaster over the neighbouring country’s energy crisis.

The declared state of disaster is with immediate effect, and he declared it during his State of The Nation Address (SONA). The President stated that the biggest priority this year is to restore energy.

“The seeds that were planted years ago, we cannot undo the damage including the effects of state capture. What we can do is keep the lights on for years to come. Eskom is deploying resources to improve the reliability of six power stations. The government will support Eskom in the rollout of solar to homes to proceed with tax breaks to be revealed during budgets,” the president said.

He revealed that a Minister of Electricity will be appointed to look into the energy crisis and focus on the work of Eskom in ending the devastating load shedding.

He highlighted that while the new Minister of Electricity will focus on the crisis, the Minister of Enterprise will oversee the transition of power supplier, Eskom, on its exercise of ending load shedding.

“Focusing on the energy crisis right now, an effective response to this crisis involves several departments and requires coordination. We will include other social partners in an effective setup as we did with the Covid 19 pandemic. We need a number of role players. We must
spare no effort and must allow no delay in implementing no delay,” the SA President said.

He emphasised that coordination is important which is why he took the decision to appoint a minister who will workday and night to ensure that the energy crisis is solved.

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