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Statement on misrepresentation of President's affidavit in load shedding case

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The Presidency is aware of several media reports that have presented a gross misrepresentation of statements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in an affidavit submitted in a court case, brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and others, in respect of the current electricity crisis.
The statement in the affidavit that has been misrepresented relates 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.
Indeed, since taking office in 2018, President Ramaphosa has undertaken far-reaching measures to resolve an electricity crisis that stretches back more than a decade. These include:
- Reviving the renewable energy procurement programme, which has resulted in the addition of over 2,000 MW to the grid to date, and signing project agreements for a further 2,800 MW of projects from bid windows 5 and 6 of the programme.
- Removing the licensing threshold for embedded electricity projects and streamlining of regulatory processes, with the result that there are now more than 100 projects in the pipeline worth around 9,000 MW.
- Implementing regulatory reforms to allow municipalities to procure power independently.
- Driving a turnaround in the performance of Eskom’s power stations through more rigorous maintenance, the recruitment of experienced technical personnel, improving security and law enforcement at power stations, among others.
- Providing incentives to businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar and developing mechanisms to enable them to sell surplus power back into the grid.
- Undertaking a debt-relief arrangement for Eskom of R254 billion, which will enable the utility to make necessary investments in maintenance and transmission.
A National State of Disaster has been declared under the Disaster Management Act. This will enable additional measures to be implemented to mitigate the social and economic effects of load shedding and accelerate the measures necessary to close the shortfall in electricity.
These and other measures are clearly outlined in the same affidavit from which certain media outlets have selectively and inaccurately quoted.
As recently as the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 9 February 2023, President Ramaphosa said the most immediate priority of 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 its responsibility for ending load shedding and setting the country on a path to energy security.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President - +27 82 835 6315

Issued by: The Presidency