South Africa

National state of disaster in South Africa on the cards

President Cyril Ramaphosa said there is broad agreement in the ruling party to declare a state of disaster over the country’s energy crisis.

Ramaphosa revealed the plans around a national state of disaster as part of his closing remarks at the ANC Lekgotla.

He said the party resolved that load-shedding should be resolved in a much shorter time frame than what has been projected. “A set of actions has been set out to achieve that objective,” he said.

He added that they discussed a national state of disaster, similar to what the government did when the country faced the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is broad agreement that we should move in that direction,” Ramaphosa said to applause from the crowd.

Ramaphosa said work is already underway within the government to establish whether the legal requirements for the declaration of a state of disaster are met.

They are also investigating what specific action they will be empowered to undertake to urgently resolve load-shedding under a state of disaster.

“This matter will receive urgent attention in government processes and will be discussed thoroughly at the government lekgotla, which will take place in the next few days,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the national state of disaster would provide the government with the necessary instruments to address the nation’s challenge fully.

“This proposal has been articulated in several consultations that we have held with many roleplayers,” he said.

The consultations included traditional leaders, social formations, community organisations, trade unions, and business.


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