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An updated soundbite by Sabelo Chalufu, ActionSA Joburg Media Manager, is available here. Press Images may be found here. Please click the respective links to download the content.
The Soweto Electricity Crisis will not be resolved by the sloganeering tactics of old or the political spinning of today’s celebrity politicians, or the anarchist political parties and fringe groups that would rather see the country burn than do the hard work of providing solutions. Decisive ACTION is required. Of this fact, I am more resolute today than I was before yesterday’s public meeting which I held with the community of Rockville in Soweto.
I am equally resolute that another major part of the problem is the schizophrenic arrangement which sees the ANC crony-filled and rudderless electrical SOE twins of Eskom and City Power share the responsibility to distribute electricity across Johannesburg. It could only have been dreamt up by people who have never run a successful business in their lives.
It is an open secret that ANC politicians have toyed with the hearts, minds and lives of Sowetans since time immemorial, all the way from national level ministers, successive Premiers, Mayors and down ro ward councillors.
They have used Sowetans’ desperate pleas for respect of their constitutionally enshrined right to basic services to bamboozle them into voting for them. Once in power, they have deployed their cadres to loot the very SOE’s meant to deliver these services.
That nonsense stops today.
Answering a call from the community to engage members after the recent spate of electrical blackouts in the area, we were told of a set of facts that residents across the country have become all too familiar with in their dealings with not just many of the bankrupt SOE’s, but much of the public non-service;
Communities suffer electrical blackouts and the responsible SOE’s technicians take an inordinate time to resolve the calls;
Over 60 residences in just that one Soweto ward, Ward 33, recently went without electricity for 6 days;
Eskom’s Customer Service Centre in Midway, Soweto, is said to be a ghost town, with officials playing hide and seek with residents, hiding behind Covid-19;
Eskom’s poor capital and maintenance planning lead to the never-ending failures of the transformer in the area which is said to have recently exploded;
The divisions of residents along racial and class lines, where all neighbourhoods suffer “load-shedding” and when richer neighbourhoods get some reprieve, poorer neighbourhoods are switched off again with ”load-reduction”.
This continues no more.
ActionSA has a plan to finally resolve the problem of electricity supply and distribution in Soweto and all other areas of Johannesburg currently supplied by Eskom, including areas such as Sandton, which is now almost as old a democracy itself. We have determined that if Sowetans, like the rest of Johannesburg’s residents want lasting change, they need to give ActionSA the mandate of an outright electoral majority in the upcoming local government election, whereupon we commit to;
Using every tool in the City’s legal arsenal to enforce regulations that allow the City to procure electricity from independent power producers. We need to take urgent action to diversify our power mix, reduce our carbon footprint and increase competition within the power generation industry. By procuring electricity from independent producers, the City will no longer have to rely solely on the expensive, dirty and unreliable power supply of Eskom;
Using every tool in the City’s legal arsenal to ensure that the billions worth of historical debt said to be owed by Sowetans to Eskom is written off as Sowetans cannot be held responsible for the corruption and ineptitude of successive ANC administrations;
Dissolving City Power as a stand-alone Municipal Entity and absorb its staff and operations into the broader City of Joburg Core Administration as its continued existence as a stand-alone entity leads to unnecessary expenditure on fat cat board directors, as well as inefficiencies in its operations;
Ensuring that those who can afford to pay for their electricity, do indeed pay, by installing pre-paid meters in every household; and
Ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay, such as indigent and child-headed households, receive a free minimum amount of electricity every month because we believe in Social Justice and no intervention by the State should render vulnerable persons and households destitute.
ActionSA is convinced that this is the only way to finally resolve this matter, but ultimately the choice is in the hands of Sowetans themselves. They can choose to believe the never-ending lies of ANC government leaders and pretenders to the throne or they can choose Action that changes lives. The power is in their hands.
ActionSA stands ready to provide an electoral alternative to ensure the delivery of quality services to the residents. We have assembled a team of South Africans committed to public service and not service of political parties, who have the skills, experience, and knowledge to achieve our vision for a country that works for all its residents.
Issued by ActionSA