The ANC, and not apartheid, is to blame for South Africa’s energy problems, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Tuesday.
“The ANC is shifting responsibility again. It shows that from the beginning, the ANC was not ready [to govern],” EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu told reporters in Johannesburg.
He was responding to President Jacob Zuma’s statement on December 12 that the country’s energy problems were a product of apartheid, and government was not to blame for the current blackouts.
“The problem [is] the energy was structured racially to serve a particular race, not the majority,” Zuma told delegates at the Young Communist League’s congress in Cape Town.
Zuma said the ANC had inherited Eskom from the previous regime, which had only provided electricity to the white minority.
‘Lack of foresight’
On Tuesday, Shivambu said any government had to plan for the future and an increase in population. He said the ANC had not foreseen the growth in population and had not planned ahead.
“Now to blame apartheid is to shift the focus away from responsibility,” he said. “There was no proper forward thinking and planning.”
Shivambu blamed South Africa’s energy woes on “recklessness and lack of foresight in the ANC”.
In recent weeks Eskom has struggled to keep the lights on, with equipment failures, maintenance backlogs, and financial woes.
On December 5, Eskom implemented stage three load-shedding, which allows for up to 4 000MW to be cut.
On December 8, Eskom chief executive Tshediso Matona said the country did not have a power supply crisis.
Addressing the situation
On December 12, in a speech prepared for delivery, Zuma said that 12 years into democracy, 11-million households had access to electricity, double the number in 1994.
He said government was addressing the energy situation.
The development of the Medupi and Kusile power stations was being accelerated in order to bring them on to the grid.
On Tuesday, Shivambu and EFF leader Julius Malema said apartheid could not be blamed for the delays in building Medupi and Kusile, nor could it be blamed for the current leadership’s “incapacity”.
“We cannot blame apartheid that we failed to build extra capacity,” Malema said. – Sapa