In South Africa, representatives of the left-wing party “Economic Freedom Fighters” (EFF) have tried to prevent the President’s annual speech on the state of the nation. They prevented the speaker of the parliament from giving the floor to Cyril Ramaphosa with a series of orders.
Country is in deep crisis
South Africa is not only in a deep economic crisis because of the devastating condition of its large state-owned companies. “The economy has not grown at significant rates in a decade,” admitted Ramaphosa. After years of economic decline under his predecessor Jacob Zuma, he is currently trying to steer the country out of trouble.
The nation is groaning not only under its debt burden, but also under record unemployment and crime rates. In addition, the population is sitting in the dark more and more often because Eskom, the clammy electricity monopoly, runs out of electricity. It therefore specifically switches off the electricity in different locations for several hours each in order to reduce overall demand.
These power cuts («load shedding») further slow down the already dreadful economy. Eskom, 100 percent state-owned, secures approximately 95 percent of South Africa’s power supply.
As an example of the problems in South Africa, they demanded the dismissal of Pravin Gordhan, Minister of State Enterprises. The numerous power cuts paralyzed the country, said EFF co-founder Julius Malema. A black African with such a track record would have been fired from his post a long time ago. Gordhan’s family has Indian roots.
Power supply problem
Parliament’s session on Thursday evening was then suspended about an hour after it started and only resumed after the EFF had been expelled from the room.
President Ramaphosa admitted in his 90 minutes late speech on the state of the nation that South Africa had a power supply problem. One has to face the problems in the country.
In the future, he wants to increasingly rely on independent electricity providers and renewable energies. South Africa must also get its finances under control.