Local government and politicians should be doing more to combat the effects of load shedding and protect hardworking citizens, says economist Mike Schussler.
In a series of tweets on Sunday (5 January), Schussler outlined a number of ways that local government can combat the impact of power cuts, including:
- Making traffic officials direct cars at traffic lights during load shedding to help citizens get to work.
- Local governments should actively seek out buying power from other sources even from rooftop solar outside of Eskom and Nersa’s interference.
- Government and Eskom should actively seek and disconnect all illegal connections. Non-paying areas should bear at least twice the load shedding of paying areas.
- Eskom and the government should put all salary increases on hold spending this the money fixing power, water and roads. Local governments should stop charging network fees and other fixed fees if the network does not operate for periods of time.
- All councils that have did not paid money over to Eskom for power should be dissolved immediately placed under administration. Charges need to be filed within three months on all those responsible.
Schussler’s comments come after Eskom was forced to implement stage 2 load shedding on Saturday.
Businesses are expected to return by mid-January, which will increase the demand for electricity. “The system remains constrained and vulnerable, and as such load-shedding stage 2 will, unfortunately, have to continue,” Eskom said.
Activity in South Africa’s private sector shrank for the eighth consecutive month in December 2019 as the impact of Eskom’s load shedding continues to be felt across the country.
IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.6 from 48.6 in November, its lowest since October 2018 and further below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction,