S/Africa declares national disaster over energy crisis

South Africa has declared a national state of disaster to solve the country's protracted energy crisis for which a Minister…

South Africa has declared a national state of disaster to solve the country’s protracted energy crisis for which a Minister of Electricity has been appointed.Announcing this in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that “in a time of crisis, we need a single point of command and a single line of march.”


“Just as we address the cause of the crisis, we also need to address its impact. The crisis has progressively evolved to affect every part of society,” the president said.


He cited the negative widespread the crisis has had on the nation’s economic life from farmers to businesses and among ordinary people. 


He added: “We must act to lessen the impact of the crisis on farmers, on small businesses, on our water infrastructure, on our transport network and a number of other areas and facilities that affect our people’s lives.”


“In considering all these matters and the crisis that we are in, the National Disaster Management Centre has consequently classified the energy crisis and its impact as a national disaster,” he said.


“We are therefore declaring a national state of disaster to respond to the electricity crisis and its effects on our country,” Ramaphosa said.


The appointment, with immediate effect, will see the new minister under his wing in the presidency, he announced, adding that “extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures.”


The president said that the debilitating energy shortage in which the country found itself required government to move with increased urgency.


“The energy crisis is an existential threat to our economy and social fabric. We must spare no effort, and we must allow no delay, in implementing these measures,” he added. 

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