Premier Alan Winde convened another meeting of the Western Cape Energy Council on Friday to receive an update on efforts to reduce the impact of loadshedding on the Western Cape.
At the meeting, the Premier again stressed that urgency is required to stem the economic devastation being caused by the energy crisis. Premier Winde – who chairs the Council – reiterated, “The Council is looking at all options to make the Western Cape more energy resilient and to, over time, for us to become independent of Eskom.”
He said, “The Council is looking at this crisis and identifying how to prioritise our responses as a provincial government. Short, medium, and long-term measures, as well as emergency interventions for 2023 were, discussed at the Energy Council meeting to ameliorate loadshedding. This work will inform immediate budget discussions and determinations for the Western Cape government’s 2023/24 financial year which begins in April 2023. Further announcements will be made shortly on our plans, in particular for 2023.
Friday, 27 January, was also the deadline for President Cyril Ramaphosa to respond to the Premier’s letter on a request for a national state of disaster to be declared to better manage the response to the loadshedding crisis. Earlier this month Premier Winde wrote to President Ramaphosa stressing the need for decisive action. “Not only is loadshedding ravaging the economy, there is also the risk of food insecurity due to the devastation being wrought on the agricultural sector. This has the potential to develop into a humanitarian crisis. Our citizens have every right to be angry at this situation,” the Premier warned.
“I will now request a meeting with the President,” said Premier Alan Winde. He added it is very unfortunate that President Ramaphosa has not at the very least noted my letter. This again shows there is no urgency being demonstrated by his government.”
At a provincial Cabinet meeting earlier this week, the first of 2023, the Premier emphasised, “We have to do everything in our power to solve this problem.” He added, “While I welcome the President convening the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) last week over the energy crisis, I remained deeply concerned over the continued lack of urgency and detailed action being shown by national government.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.