CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that after several days of consecutive rolling blackouts the African National Congress (ANC) government can no longer pretend it was is a temporary blip.
The party’s Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde says that extended load shedding will kill the economy, making it difficult to pay for the government to repay debt.
Winde launched the DA’s Keep the lights on campaign on Monday, which they hope to use to make inroads at the polls in May.
Winde says that crisis-prone Eskom is placing the country on a road that will lead to more job cuts and slower economic growth.
“Now are we going to get out of junk status? We can’t get out of junk status with Eskom the way it is. Are we going to create the jobs that we need? We’re poorer now than 10 years ago, we’ve got more people unemployed now than they were 10 years ago… everything is getting worse.”
Some economists estimate that more than R10 billion has been lost due to the last series of load shedding.
During his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that Eskom will receive R69 billion over the next three years.
The New Development Bank is reportedly also planning to lend the power utility just more than R11 billion for infrastructure projects.
Eskom, however, has made some strides in averting power cuts for this week.