14 February 2019

South Africa: Parliament to Debate Energy Crisis

Parliament is set to schedule an urgent debate on the energy crisis amid rolling power cuts.

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete has conceded to a request from Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Natasha Mazzone seeking an urgent motion for debate on the Eskom energy crisis to be placed on the Order Paper of the National Assembly.

South African homes and businesses have since Sunday experienced power cuts after Eskom announced load shedding.

Speaking to reporters in Cape Town, President Cyril Ramaphosa this week expressed shock and anger at the developments but said the crisis was receiving urgent attention.

"In her reply [to Mazzone], Mbete said she agreed that the recent commencement of load shedding by Eskom, especially its impact on the economy, was a serious matter warranting the attention of the National Assembly. As a result, an urgent debate on the matter would be scheduled on it," Parliament said in a statement.

The National Assembly Programme Committee, which determines the programme of the House, is scheduled to meet this morning.

In terms of Rule 130 of the latest National Assembly Rules, a private member may request the Speaker, in writing, to schedule without delay an urgent matter of national public importance for discussion by the House.

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