Members of the Democratic Alliance (DA), led by parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane, are preparing top mount a demonstration outside the Sunninghill headquarters of Eskom this morning.
The party will march to Megawatt Park in order to demand the break up of Eskom and that its bosses pay back performance related bonuses amounting to R63 million since 2008.
According to an article penned by Helen Zille yesterday and published on the party website, the DA will call for Eskom to be broken up and the grid opened up for independent power producers – steps towards which have already been taken, not least in DA stronghold Cape Town.
Zille and Maimane are also calling for a rapid increase in the number of renewable power sources connected to the grid, and want government to abandon its R1 trillion nuclear deal.
The only reason there could be for pursuing this project is the obvious opportunities for bribery and corruption on a mega “Arms Deal” scale so far unprecedented in South Africa. This is what these nuclear power stations are really about, because every rational analyst knows they are way too expensive and will take way too long, especially in a country where we have the abundant natural resources required to make renewable energy viable more quickly.
Government is yet to show us how this deal – reported to be worth as much as R1 trillion – will be financed, but you don’t have to be a financial genius to know that the user will pay. Electricity price hikes will be expected to cover a project of this scale, putting the final nail in our economy’s coffin and forcing future generations of South Africans to pay for it for decades to come. We simply have to walk away from it.
We’ll be covering the march throughout the morning here and via our Twitter account. Eskom appears to have closed the Witkoppen entrance to Megawatt Park, and police vans and helicopters are in the area.