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By Citizen Reporter


Load shedding: Political campaigning will suffer

Blackouts will affect polls. ANC should declare state of disaster on itself.

The ANC must declare a state of disaster on itself – and not on the rolling blackouts as it undertook this week.

Of course, load shedding and water cuts has plunged the country into chaos which has been created by the ANC.

28 Years of promises

For 28 years, the party has been promising a better life for all but what it has delivered to the poor has been disaster after disaster.

At present, the party really can’t say it will fight unemployment, end crime and corruption, end load shedding, expropriate land or give free education.

Like during the Covid lockdowns, in every crisis, pandemic and disaster, it is always the poor who suffer the most.

The unprecedented energy crisis is not just negatively affecting the economy but also those who are not privileged enough to buy themselves generators, solar panels and renewables to shield themselves from the effects of load shedding.

Blackouts now normal

With blackouts that are now a norm, it has become unsafe for ordinary South Africans to walk from work to their homes late at night because of the darkness that criminals use as cover when they are engaging in their illegal activities.

Load shedding continues to take money out of the pockets of the poor because they constantly must buy groceries on a daily basis and other energy sources like paraffin to cook, further keeping them poor in addition to the increasing cost of living.

Then, with the very same paraffin that is meant to assist households, a new problem arises: paraffin starting fires that destroy the belongings of the poor, sometimes even taking their lives.

As load shedding persists, we have many families that struggle to cook because they now are forced to set fires when preparing their meals.

And this causes another catastrophe that is environmental: these fires increase the carbon emissions for South Africa and they pose a health risk to the poor, who inhale the unhealthy air.

ALSO READ: City Power in ‘disaster mode’ as it battles outages caused by devastating Joburg storms

Poor cannot shield themselves from energy crisis

With that happening, the poor are left sick and unable to even take themselves to the best medical care the country has to offer because they don’t have money and only have access to public hospitals, which are mostly in poor condition.

The energy crisis continues to prove miserable because these power failures are destroying electrical appliances such as cellphones, chargers, refrigerators and TV sets, adding to unplanned expenses.

This brings about severe frustration because groceries get ruined and families are left with no food.

With this unjustified chaos caused by Eskom, businesses are shutting down at an alarming rate and the unemployed poor find themselves in a situation where it will be hard to get a job.

And for those employed, they are losing their jobs daily. Load shedding doesn’t only present economic challenges to the poor, but it also poses a constitutional dilemma because it denies the poor their democratic right to access information.

ALSO READ: Can your boss dock your pay because of load shedding? Here’s what the law says

This is the case because, with these blackouts, it is hard for the poor to be up to date because they can’t watch news on TV.

As a result, many political parties will struggle if load shedding persists to get their messages across to people during election campaigns as most people rely on TV and radio for their information.

The poor is also left with no choice as they have to bath with cold water. But those who are more unfortunate have had to skip a bath as their water supply is interrupted due to load shedding.

South Africans are getting fed up and concrete steps ought to be taken to end blackouts.

As much as President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC have resorted to a last option of a possibility to declare a national state of disaster to end load shedding, one hopes it will fast-track spending and measures to arrest the blackouts before South Africa turns into a zone of protests and national shutdowns.

NOW READ: ‘The picket lines are calling our names,’ says Malema as ‘National Shutdown’ trends on Twitter

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