The news that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be in control of the energy state of disaster has doused all the plans that President Cyril Ramaphosa put forward to overcome the crisis with ice-cold water.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), has already published the declaration of the state of disaster in the Government Gazette.
The fact that it will once again be implemented without proper parliamentary oversight means that South Africa is at the mercy of elements that are already greedily eyeing the funds and possibilities offered by the state of disaster.
No promise nor undertaking by President Ramaphosa will allay these fears. Especially not the announcement of a Minister of Electricity to manage the crisis. The ANC’s track record in this regard is notorious.
President Ramaphosa’s own admission that there is “nothing new” to his energy action plan is an apt description of the strong sense of scepticism with which the FF Plus views it.
It was merely a rehash of the action plan that he announced six months ago, which has still not achieved any success.
A recipe that has failed before will not work simply because it is repeated.
The President’s promises are strongly reminiscent of former President Zuma’s in 2016 that South Africa will “never have load shedding again” under ANC rule.
That was after President Ramaphosa, Deputy President at the time, was appointed as the head of the so-called “Eskom War Room” in 2015 with the specific aim of tackling the power crisis.
And eight years later, there is still no clear plan or solution. Announcing that another Cabinet post will be created for a Minister of Electricity is clearly just an attempt to create the impression that something is indeed being done. It is superfluous seeing as there is already an energy minister.
The FF Plus’s view on the matter is that there should be less, rather than more, government interference. After all, the crisis was brought about by the ANC’s over-regulation of the industry.
The rest of the President’s statements on the power crisis are old news: It impacts farmers negatively and jeopardises food security, it affects everyone in South Africa, it greatly damages the economy.
Proposals that could possibly have delivered positive results under a responsible government are probably doomed to fail with the ANC at the steer of things.
It is clear that South Africa will remain in the dark for as long as the ANC government is in power.
Regarding job creation, the President said that the economy must grow much quicker to curb unemployment. Everyone already knows that too.
As long as Affirmative Action (AA), Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and a myriad of other restrictive labour laws remain in place, there is no chance for economic growth.
The same goes for the country’s crumbling railway system and the water crisis, which is looming even more menacingly on the horizon than the power crisis.
When it comes to telecommunications, President Ramaphosa reiterated “plans” to expand internet connections to rural areas. But offered nothing substantial. Only plans.
Likewise, it is not possible to ascribe any value to the President’s promises about investments and investment boards.
With the ANC at the wheel of the South African ship, investors would much rather invest their money where it is safe, where a favourable business environment is created and there is no sword of expropriation constantly hanging over their heads.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus
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