South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is “not worried” that rolling power outages will cost the party votes ahead of the 8 May elections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.
Speaking to reporters while on the election campaign trail in a Cape Town township of Delft on Friday, 22 March 2019, Ramaphosa said he was confident that electricity supply would have stabilised by the time the country holds its sixth democratic elections in less than two months.
“No, I am not worried because South Africans are being given full information. We are being transparent and the challenges that Eskom faces emanated from our recent past. Many people are aware of the wrong things that were done in the past,” the president said.
He added, “While we are able to put the truth to the people of South Africa, they will decide, they will make their own choice. What I’m worried about is that we should be able to have a free and fair election.”
He called on South African not to panic and urged them to “close ranks to work together.”
“This is a common problem for all of us. Wherever we go people are raising this issue and that is why we are addressing it on an urgent basis,” he said.
Ramaphosa said his government and Eskom would soon be meeting with the Electoral Commission of South Africa to put into place contingency measure to mitigate the possible effect of load-shedding on the elections.
Touting for votes in a township that is an opposition Democratic Alliance stronghold, Ramaphosa lashed out at the Western Cape Provincial government for failing to spend US$121 million of its national allowance on housing despite there being a housing shortage in the region.
“The saddest part is that the province has returned $121 million to the treasury for housing projects, where money was not spent. That for me is very tragic that a structure of government should return money to Treasury for failing to spend it.”