THE South African Presidency says statements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in an affidavit submitted in a court case brought by the UDM and others relating to the electricity crisis have been “grossly misrepresented”.
This follows a public outcry after Ramaphosa was quoted as saying he was not legally required to provide electricity to citizens and that the responsibility lay with municipal structures.
Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the statement in the affidavit was misrepresented related to the constitutional powers and responsibilities of the president and other government bodies.
“It seeks to clarify important legal issues about what is contained in and what is required by the constitution.
“This statement does not in any way diminish the commitment of President Ramaphosa and this government to end load-shedding as a matter of urgency.”
Magwenya said upon taking office in 2018, Ramaphosa had undertaken far-reaching measures to resolve an electricity crisis stretching back more than a decade.
These included the recently announced state of disaster and the debt relief arrangement for Eskom of R254bn, which is expected to enable the utility to make necessary investments in maintenance and transmission.
“This will enable additional measures to be implemented to mitigate the social and economic effects of loadshedding and accelerate the measures necessary to close the shortfall in electricity,” said Magwenya.
He added the measures taken to end the energy crisis were outlined in the affidavit that “certain media outlets have selectively and inaccurately quoted”.
“President Ramaphosa, in his state of the nation address, said the most immediate priority of the government is to restore energy security.
“The intense focus that is being given to resolving this crisis, and the actions that have been taken so far, clearly show that neither the president nor government has abdicated responsibility for ending load-shedding and setting the country on a path to energy security,” said Magwenya. — TimesLIVE