Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has slammed the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) attempt at “cheap point scoring and political grandstanding” over the electricity crisis by attempting an unplanned visit to the Kusile power station on Wednesday morning.
This after DA leader John Steenhuisen said on Wednesday during a briefing on the DA’s latest plans to address the country’s electricity crisis, he was prevented from entering the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.
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“This power station that should have been behind me – and that I visited earlier today – is symbolic of all these failures. Construction on Kusile began in 2007 and it was meant to be completed eight years ago, in 2014, and for a budget of R80 billion. Kusile has six generation units, but as we speak four of them are down, and will be that way for months, if not years,” said Steenhuisen.
Gordhan called Steenhuisen ‘as a matter of courtesy’
In a statement, Gordhan said after being informed of Steenhuisen’s unplanned visit at Kusile, he called him “as a matter of courtesy, to facilitate a constructive engagement”.
“I explained to him that Eskom senior management are busy with important board engagements today. I am willing to make myself available to brief him,” said Gordhan.
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He said he suggested that arrangements be made for visits with a full briefing to ensure necessary protocol is complied with.
“The DA Members of Parliament in various portfolio committees and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) have on several occasions undertaken visits to Kusile and Eskom facilities and are fully aware of the security arrangements and protocols to be followed prior to making a visit to National Key Points,” said Gordhan.
Gordhan said Steenhuisen’s claim he was blocked by the minister from visiting the power station is
“misleading” and “not true”.
“The DA did not use normal procedures to request a visit to the Kusile Power station in line with National Key points Act and Parliamentary protocols.
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“It is quite clear that this is a DA grandstanding that has nothing to do with the Energy Crisis confronting the country, nor do they have any solutions for the energy crisis except criticism.
“We have previously debated with the DA indicating that the issue of electricity crisis must be treated as a national issue and should not be used as a party-political football in any shape or form,” said Gordhan.