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Stephen Grootes is wrong — the DA is sharply focused on solving the energy crisis

Stephen Grootes is wrong — the DA is sharply focused on solving the energy crisis
Hundreds of Democratic Alliance members march to the ANC Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg on 25 January 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Of course, actions speak louder than words. The DA has not just talked. We’ve taken several bold actions to help solve SA’s energy crisis.

Stephen Grootes’ harmful cynicism in his article published by Daily Maverick on Thursday (DA’s march on ANC’s Luthuli House was the starting gun for its 2024 election campaign) cannot go unchallenged. By peddling the false narrative that SA voters have no alternatives to the ANC, Grootes does profound harm to South Africa.

He concludes: “It is clear that politicians are very comfortable arguing about who is to blame. But they do not appear to be focusing on finding solutions (to the energy crisis). Which may mean that no matter who wins next year’s elections, very few of our politicians will provide solutions to solve our problems.”

What is crystal clear is that Grootes has made no effort to find out about the solutions offered by opposition parties to South Africa’s energy crisis. In the DA’s case, these were most recently set out in my latest newsletter titled “The DA’s response to the energy crisis”, which was also published by News24 under the title “The ANC must understand the risk it faces if it doesn’t act on Eskom crisis”.

The DA’s Energy Policy, our comprehensive plan to fix South Africa’s energy crisis, is available to all within a few clicks. It was developed by the DA’s head of policy, Gwen Ngwenya, and her team in consultation with several energy experts.

We have also set out our solutions in countless media statements, most recently here, here, here and here. Grootes and anyone else can sign up here to receive our statements and here for my weekly Straight Talk newsletters. Information on solutions offered by other opposition parties is neatly summarised here, making it easy for even the most disinterested commentators to get their facts straight.

Of course, actions speak louder than words. The DA has not just talked. We’ve taken several bold actions to help solve SA’s energy crisis.

Most recently, on Monday and Tuesday this week we were in court to rip out the problem at its roots by having the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment declared illegal. Because of the cadre deployment committee records that the DA exposed to the country last year, we know it is at Luthuli House where, over the past 25 years, the decisions were made to “deploy” the corrupt and incompetent ANC cadres who destroyed Eskom.

Also this week, DA-run Cape Town became the first city to successfully negotiate a feed-in tariff with the Treasury, which will allow the city to soon pay businesses and residents for supplying their excess electricity to the local grid. This is just the latest of several measures taken to shield residents from ANC load shedding.

On Wednesday, the DA led a huge, peaceful and successful Power to the People march to Luthuli House, ANC headquarters. The reasons for doing so were important. Voters need to understand that ANC corruption and incompetence, not Eskom or Nersa, are to blame for load shedding and high electricity prices. The ANC needs to understand that if it continues on its obstructionist path, it will lose power.

Last week, the DA filed court papers to interdict the Nersa tariff increase, on the basis that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for ANC corruption and incompetence. As part of the application, we also asked that the court direct the government to file, within 30 days, a comprehensive plan, including short-term, medium-term and long-term steps, to avert the energy crisis.

On Monday next week, the DA will be in court again. This is for our other case against cadre deployment, which is a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) application to obtain all cadre deployment minutes from the time President Cyril Ramaphosa was chair of the ANC’s national deployment committee. The ANC says cadre deployment is freedom of speech, yet Ramaphosa is intent on hiding his minutes.

Of course, the energy crisis is just the most visible of the multiple crises hitting South Africa, all with the same root causes. The DA’s offer to South Africans in the make-or-break general election of 2024 will be to not just do things better but to do things differently.

We are offering fundamental rather than superficial reform, in line with our four core governing principles, which are a commitment to the rule of law, a market-driven economy, a capable state that delivers to all, and nonracialism. In this newsletter, I set out why each of these core principles is an essential prerequisite for fixing our energy crisis and for a successful South Africa.

I hope the many useful links in this article will serve to convince readers and Grootes that the DA is sharply focused on solving the energy crisis. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Elmarie Dennis says:

    Be blessed DA i keep on praying for our country. Thank you for serving the people of SA. Grootes it’s time you start publishing what the DA has done right and their accomplishments.

  • Peter Smith says:

    Thanks John, however, why did the DA not do anything sooner?
    And why are the plans only for Cape Town? The DA has been running the City of Tshwane since 2016. Why have no actions been taken yet in City of Tshwane with regards to mitigating load shedding? The documents you are referring regarding the energy crisis are still just plans on paper (for Cape Town). The DA still needs to implement them and show that it works.

    • Karl Sittlinger says:

      “The DA has been running the City of Tshwane since 2016.” This statement is simply incorrect. They are in an extremely volatile coalition with hostile partners that have been running interference at every opportunity. There have been serious changes in power when Tshwane was put under administration (unlawfully as the courts found I should add), and the coffers were looted in that time by the ANC.

      Why only Cape Town? Simple because it the only place they have enough power and time to actually implement and maintain infrastructure to make a difference.

      The DA may not be perfect, but let’s be honest about their problems.

      • Michael Shepstone says:

        I agree in part with Peter. The perception exists that the DA is very much more focused on the Western Cape than other regions in the country. I think that this is something they need to address with urgency, and well before the next elections.

    • Kb1066 . says:

      The problem with Tshwane is that the DA was only part of an a coalition, that does not talk with one voice. Action SA wants to include EFF and PA in every decision and they are only interested in what they can get for themselves. Tshwane voters need to give the DA a clear mandate to run the city and then they can follow the Cape Town model.

    • Peter Wanliss says:

      Sorry, you are mistaken. Cape Town is consistently one and sometimes two levels of load shedding below the ESKOM level for the busiest part of the day. Not bad for a plan on paper! And they can do it in Cape Town because the DA are not being given the run-around by coalition partners who are mainly looking to promote themselves into positions well above their level of representation.
      If voters gave the DA a clear majority in other cities and provinces, then they too would enjoy the benefits that we have in the Western Cape and Cape Town in particular.

  • Pet Bug says:

    Excellent response.
    We Saffers can be a lazy bunch, but this affliction should not be one demonstrated by a supposedly serious journalist.
    Seen this in other mainstream media as well where especially the DA is purposely written in a bad light, and often not asked to respond for their side of an argument made.

  • Christian Pirk says:

    Excellent response – @StephenGrootes what is your reply ?

  • D.R. W says:

    A well written article and impressive that the DA react so quickly to what appears to be poor investigative journalism seemingly designed to fit the individual journo’s narrative?

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