Government has terminated, with immediate effect, the National State of Disaster declared by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs on 9 February 2023.
The State of Disaster was a necessary response to the impact of critical levels of load shedding on the economy and vulnerable sectors such as health and small businesses.
Following the declaration of the State of Disaster in February, government adopted wide-ranging regulations which set out the responsibilities of the different organs of the state to mitigate the impact of severe load shedding, prevent the escalation of electricity supply constraints, and avert a national emergency.
These regulations and the underlying actions were put in place in support of the Energy Action Plan.
This was to support an effective and integrated response across all spheres of government.
The state of disaster enabled government to enhance interventions by the National Energy Crisis Committee in terms of the Energy Action Plan.
The interventions in the Energy Action Plan aim to:
- Fix Eskom and improve the availability of existing supply.
- Enable and accelerate private investment in generation capacity.
- Accelerate procurement of new capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage
- Unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar.
- Fundamentally transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.
A significant enabler of the improvement in the supply of electricity has been the appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa of Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa as Minister of Electricity.
The Minister has in recent weeks undertaken oversight visits to power stations and consultations within government, including with Eskom, to identify and resolve electricity supply constraints.
As a structure that integrates areas of responsibility and resources within government, the National Energy Crisis Committee provides support to the Minister in the identification and resolution of bottlenecks.
In view of these developments, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms Thembisile Nkadimeng, has decided to terminate the National State of Disaster.
The disaster declaration was published in Government Gazette No. 48009 in Notice No.3019 in terms of Section 27(5)(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002 as amended.
Following the termination of the state of disaster, all regulations and directions made in terms of Section 27(2) of the Act pursuant to the declaration of the national state of disaster to deal with the impact or the severe electricity supply constraint are repealed with immediate effect.
Government will, through the Energy Crisis Committee continue to engage, cooperate and coordinate its actions to reduce and eradicate load shedding using existing legislation and contingency arrangements. These include measures already taken to protect critical infrastructure, facilitate emergency energy generation and protection consumers in terms of relevant competition law.
A range of interventions and support measures introduced by departments as an accelerated response at the time the state of disaster was declared will be sustained in terms of existing legislation.
Minister Nkadimeng expresses her sincere appreciation for the constructive and collaborative way in which stakeholders in civil society have worked with government in a short space of time to achieve progress in keeping the lights on and enabling the economy and public services to function more productively.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.