- EFF leader Julius Malema has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of rushing through the R56 billion energy deal in order to benefit his business allies and family members
- Malema said Ramaphosa had rushed into signing the Independent Power Producers agreement so his brother-in-law Patrice Motsepe could benefit
- The EFF leader made the remarks during Ramaphosa’s questions and answers session in the National Assembly on Wednesday
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of rushing to sign the R56 billion Independent Power Producers (IPP) deal with the express intent of benefiting his various business allies and in particular his brother-in-law Patrice Motsepe.
Malema asked the president why he had rushed to sign IPP deals worth R56 billion despite the government admitting that Eskom currently had sufficient capacity to provide electricity to the nation at a cheaper cost than IPP’s.
Malema’s fiery mood and accusation seemed to throw the usually calm and stoic Ramaphosa off balance temporarily as he stumbled through the first part of his reply.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Ramaphosa’s initial response was somewhat weak-kneed and he admitted that the cost of buying electricity from IPP was currently higher than what Eskom was charging.
Ramaphosa said consumers would not be able to tell where the electricity which they used was generated because power from the IPP’s would be integrated into the national grid and the pricing would not reflect whether it came from an IPP, coal or nuclear power station.
The president took a moment and according to CityPress.co.za he visibly regained his stoic composure before making the second part of his answer, he seemed more confident and knowledgeable when he again spoke.
Ramaphosa noted that while IPP’s where currently the more expensive option for electricity the long-term benefits of investing in renewable energy would become self-evident as the technology matured and costs inevitably came down because of progress.
Ramaphosa told MPs that a large proportion of Eskom’s power stations were at or near the end of their usable lifespan and would face being taken out of service in the medium-term. He said workers currently employed at these facilities would be able to find employment with IPP’s when the time was right.
The president then turned his attention to Malema’s accusation and told MP’s that he was painfully aware of the need for him as president not put the interests of other parties ahead of those of the nation.
Ramaphosa said he was aware that even the suggestion that he was trying to advance the interests of family members or associates could pose a serious risk to his presidency and to the integrity of his administration.
Ramaphosa challenged Malema to stop making defamatory accusations and to bring any evidence of the allegations into the public realm so they could be publicly investigated.
Malema has made several such allegations against Ramaphosa, his business allies and family members but has yet to provide any type of evidence to support his claims.
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