Blackouts in Uitenhage and Despatch affect industry and jobs: DA

JANUARY 13, 2016

Amid reports of unplanned power outages in Uitenhage and Despatch on Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it showed how government "does not care enough to build and maintain sustainable infrastructure".

"The DA is committed to combating the rampant unemployment crisis in NMB and condemns this electricity infrastructure crisis that continues to paralyse our industry," said Athol Trollip, Eastern Cape DA leader and the party's Mayoral Candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay in the upcoming local government elections.

"Without an adequate maintenance infrastructure budget, municipal electrical equipment cannot be serviced regularly, which leads to persistent and avoidable power outages under this [African National Congress] ANC government.

"The DA has consistently called for the formation of sub-councils to improve service delivery and technician response time to a forgotten part of the Metro, but nothing is being done by a local government that does not care."

Trollip said that the Metro’s industrial sector, most of which exists in Uitenhage, is the economic industrial hub of Nelson Mandela Bay and as such needs to be protected from shutdown.

"This ANC administration must account for its short-sighted and negligent failures in electricity infrastructure maintenance and supply.

"I have written to the ANC MAYCO Member for infrastructure and engineering, Andile Mfunda, asking for an immediate intervention plan to prevent future blackouts. The DA will also present alternative budget solutions to remedy the electricity crisis during the municipal budget process," he said.

"The DA will urgently table a motion in council to have a sub-council established so that the people and industry of Uitenhage and Despatch can receive equal and fair service delivery."