JOHANNESBURG: The DA marched on Wednesday to protest against prolonged load-shedding and cadre deployment to the cabinet.
During the march, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of grandstanding over the country’s energy crisis. The official opposition has started marching towards the ANC’s Luthuli House in Johannesburg to demonstrate against power cuts.
But scores of ANCYL members have gathered outside the governing party’s headquarters, and vow to keep the DA away.
The DA claims that cadre deployment and what it calls “ANC-sponsored state capture” has led to the collapse of Eskom.
It said, therefore, the ANC was responsible for frequent power cuts and wanted it to take accountability.
But the ANCYL said the DA was misguided.
“There is no political party anywhere that must think they can come to another and march to another political party’s headquarters on matters of governance that have nothing to do with the political office,” the league’s national organiser, Ms Tlangi Mogale, said.
Ms Mogale said the DA should rather consider protesting at Eskom offices or provide workable solutions to address the energy crisis.
Earlier, DA leader John Steenhuisen said Luthuli House was “ground zero” of South Africa’s electricity crisis.
“If you’re serious about tackling the problem, you need to go straight to the source of the problem, and Luthuli House is ground zero of the electricity crisis in South Africa.
“That’s where the destruction of Eskom was engineered, through the terrible outdated policy, through disgusting greed and corruption, and above all, through the deployment of useless and criminal cadres to the power utility,” he said.
He lamented how some ANC members have power while the rest of the country suffers.
“The president and ministers do not worry about load-shedding because Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has provided the ministers with generators at their homes, which are paid for with the taxpayer’s money,” he said.
Mr Kevin Mileham, a DA MP who serves on parliament’s energy portfolio committee, echoed Mr Steenhuisen’s sentiments.
“It’s been 15 years of load-shedding, but the ANC knew about the programme long before then. In 1998, they were warned that if they didn’t build new power stations before 2007, SA would run out of electricity and that’s exactly what happened,” Mr Mileham said.
Meanwhile, the ANC spokesperson, Mr Pule Mabe said the ANC Youth League members outside Luthuli House were a welcoming committee for the DA marchers. He added that the opposition party was being provocative and “the ANC will receive no memorandum from it”.