On Friday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) issued a statement requesting that the ANC’s investment company, Chancellor House, withdraw its investment into the proposed ZAR18 billion coal-fired power project in KwaZulu Natal.
This follows reports, which confirmed that Chancellor House is a shareholder in the power project. The coal-fired power project is expected to contribute an additional 1,000MW to the grid.
Shadow Minister of Energy, Gordon Mackay, of South African political party DA, said that he would be sending a letter to the Treasurer General of the ANC, Zweli Mkhize to “action the immediate disinvestment” in the Colenso coal-fired power station, Politicsweb reported.
Power project: Gaining at expense of a crisis
Mackay stated that this is not the first time the ANC has gained from the country’s power situation—Chancellor House owns a 25% stake in Hitachi Power Africa, which had a ZAR38.5 billion contract to supply boilers for the Medupi and Kusile power stations.
Mackay said: “It is ethically shameful that the ANC sees it fit to use South Africa’s energy crisis as an opportunity to fill its election slush fund ahead of next year’s local government elections.
“It seems now that the ANC is feeling the pinch ahead of next year’s election, Zweli Mkhize is willing to renege on his public statements last year in which he claimed that Chancellor House should not hold direct government contracts and should avoid all conflicts of interest.”
Mackay stressed that it was imperative for the Treasurer General to see through his commitment and make every effort to ensure that the ANC “does not benefit financially from the energy crisis it created.”
Energy crisis stumps economic growth
According to the DA Shadow Minister, South Africans have had to accept the hindering effects of the energy crisis on the economy, with many jobs lost “leaving unemployed South Africans very little hope of finding work”.
Mackay explained: “To overcome it will require political will and wholesale changes to national energy policy, not unscrupulous fundraising by the ANC ahead of next year’s election.”
He concluded: “The DA believes in a society based on fairness in which political parties are guided by the rights and interests of all South Africans, not their own financial well-being.”