Update: Presidency disputes media misrepresentation of affidavit

UPDATE:  The Presidency has issued a statement disputing “misrepresented” reports about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s opposing affidavit submitted in court in relation to who is legally and constitutionally responsible to deal with the energy crisis. This follows the widespread media coverage that ensued after the release of the affidavit in the case being brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and... Read more → The post Update: Presidency disputes media misrepresentation of affidavit appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

Update: Presidency disputes media misrepresentation of affidavit

UPDATE: 

The Presidency has issued a statement disputing “misrepresented” reports about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s opposing affidavit submitted in court in relation to who is legally and constitutionally responsible to deal with the energy crisis.

This follows the widespread media coverage that ensued after the release of the affidavit in the case being brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and 18 other litigants against the South African government.

Part of the affidavit stated that the three spheres of government were not required by the Constitution to supply electricity to the people of South Africa.

Statement on the misrepresentation of the president’s affidavit in the loadshedding case:

“The Presidency is aware of several media reports that have presented a gross misrepresentation of statements made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in an affidavit submitted in a court case brought by the United Democratic Movement and others in respect of the current electricity crisis.

The statement in the affidavit that has been misrepresented relates to the constitutional powers and responsibilities of the President and other government bodies. It seeks to clarify important legal issues about what is contained in and what is required by the Constitution.

This statement does not in any way diminish the commitment of President Ramaphosa and this government to end loadshedding as a matter of urgency.

Indeed, since taking office in 2018, President Ramaphosa has undertaken far-reaching measures to resolve an electricity crisis that stretches back more than a decade. These include:

  • Reviving the renewable energy procurement programme, which has resulted in the addition of over 2,000 MW to the grid to date, and signing project agreements for a further 2,800 MW of projects from bid windows 5 and 6 of the programme.
  • Removing the licensing threshold for embedded electricity projects and streamlining regulatory processes, with the result that there are now more than 100 projects in the pipeline worth around 9,000 MW.
  • Implementing regulatory reforms to allow municipalities to procure power independently.
  • Driving a turnaround in the performance of Eskom’s power stations through more rigorous maintenance, the recruitment of experienced technical personnel, and improving security and law enforcement at power stations, among others.
  • Providing incentives to businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar and developing mechanisms to enable them to sell surplus power back into the grid.
  • Undertaking a debt-relief arrangement for Eskom of R254 billion, which will enable the utility to make necessary investments in maintenance and transmission.

A national state of disaster has been declared under the Disaster Management Act. This will enable additional measures to be implemented to mitigate the social and economic effects of loadshedding and accelerate the measures necessary to close the shortfall in electricity.

These and other measures are clearly outlined in the same affidavit from which certain media outlets have selectively and inaccurately quoted.

As recently as the State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2023, President Ramaphosa said the most immediate priority of government is to restore energy security.

“The intense focus that is being given to resolving this crisis—and the actions that have been taken so far—clearly show that neither the President nor government has abdicated its responsibility for ending loadshedding and setting the country on a path to energy security.”


In response to the case brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and 18 other litigants against the South African government, President Cyril Ramaphosa has filed an opposing affidavit to clarify the government’s stance on the provision of electricity as per the Constitution.


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The UDM is seeking a declaration from the high court that the African National Congress (ANC)-led government’s response to loadshedding violates various fundamental human rights and is unconstitutional.

In Ramaphosa’s affidavit, he states that the Constitution does not mandate the three spheres of government to exercise powers that have not been delegated to them. He further explains that the responsibility for electricity and water provisioning falls on municipalities.

According to the affidavit, there is no legal obligation, either in the Constitution or any other law, for the president to provide electricity to the public; it would be unfounded to accuse him of violating the Constitution by failing to supply electricity to the country.

The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on 20 March.

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Picture: @PresidencyZA / Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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