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DA wants Eskom declared a state of disaster

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is reiterating its call for the situation at Eskom to be declared a state of disaster. This comes in the wake of the power utility being unable to stump up the cash to pay for the diesel required to keep its open-cycle gas turbines operating during power cuts. The DA said…

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is reiterating its call for the situation at Eskom to be declared a state of disaster.

This comes in the wake of the power utility being unable to stump up the cash to pay for the diesel required to keep its open-cycle gas turbines operating during power cuts.

The DA said that the national grid was now facing the real risk of collapse and President Cyril Ramaphosa was being ill-advised.

The party now wants to put an urgent question to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on the matter at a question-and-answer session in Parliament on Wednesday.

Following an urgent board meeting between Gordhan and the Eskom board on Sunday night, the government said that it would find the money to buy diesel and keep at least some of the lights on.

But the DA said that this latest crisis was a consequence of the government refusing to acknowledge that the power utility was on the brink of collapse.

The DA said that the national energy crisis committee had proven ineffective.

DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia said that if the government declared a state of disaster, it would unlock the emergency re-prioritization of resources.

“The minister must provide answers and take decisive action. The question is whether Eskom will be able to effect a black start given the unavailability of diesel and the funds to secure it. The minister must provide answers and take decisive action lest the country is plunged into darkness.”

Cachalia said that Gordhan must explain to South Africans why he failed to act in time to stop Eskom from running out of diesel.

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The DA also wants to know how the government plans to secure the money to buy more fuel.

Cachalia said that the longer government took to declare a disaster around Eskom, the closer the country would get to a total grid collapse.