THE DA seems to have flip-flopped from its position that President Cyril Ramaphosa has to declare electricity crisis a disaster.
Party leader John Steenhuisen made the call in November, saying that it was the only route to solve the problem.
Now that Ramaphosa announced that the national state of disaster would be implemented with immediate effect during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday, 9 February, DA said it would take him to court.
Speaking after the address, Steenhuisen said they would challenge the declaration because South Africa had been down this road before.
“During Covid-19, we saw the fatal flaws in the national state of disaster (SOD) legislation, which allows the ANC unfettered power to loot without parliamentary oversight,” he said.
He added that the DA wanted the court to declare the Disaster Management Act unconstitutional, and they would do the same to prevent the ANC from a looting frenzy that would follow Ramaphosa’s dangerous and desperate announcement like night followed day.
“We will not allow the ANC to abuse the electricity disaster it created to loot and further abuse the people of SA,” said Steenhuisen.
Measures that could be taken during the Energy state of disaster included assisting and protecting the public, providing relief, protecting property and preventing or combating disruption.
The DA said what it called for last year was a ring-fenced SOD to free Eskom from compliance with red-tape, procurement obstacles, cancellation of dodgy coal tenders and employment of skilled experts.
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“This is different from a national state of disaster that was used to loot during the Covid-19 pandemic, where arbitrary and irrational regulations were applied that hindered rather than helped the situation,” said Steenhuisen.