The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national State of Disaster – with immediate effect – as a response to the current energy crisis crippling the country.
Electricity supplier, Eskom has been battling to keep the lights on, leading to increased stages of load shedding and a devastating impact on lives, livelihoods and businesses.
Ramaphosa announced the State of Disaster during the State of the Nation Address (SANA) at the Cape Town City Hall, on Thursday evening.
“The National Disaster Management Centre has consequently classified the energy crisis and its impact as a national disaster. We are therefore declaring a national state of disaster to respond to the electricity crisis and its effects,” he said.
The president explained that the declaration will enable government to “provide practical measures” to assist businesses that have been devastated by the effects of load shedding.
“The state of disaster will enable us to provide practical measures that we need to take to support businesses in the food production, storage and retail supply chain, including for the rollout of generators, solar panels and uninterrupted power supply,” he added.