Opposition calls for protests against government over continuing blackouts

The leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema. – EFF

The leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, on Monday called on South Africans to take to the streets en masse to protest the country’s continuing blackouts and to demand the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Malema has assured that electricity »is a privilege for a few», while he has highlighted the importance of a president who avoids taking South Africa »to the collapse», as he has asserted in a speech broadcast on social networks.

»The streets are calling. Let’s occupy every street in South Africa, wherever you are, make your voice heard (…) If you don’t have electricity because of (state-owned utility) ESKOM, stand up and let this government know that you are tired,» he said.

Thus, he also urged people tired of corruption, the high cost of living, the malfunctioning of hospitals or the increase in crime to demonstrate.

Malema’s statements come days after Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster across the country in an effort to address the energy crisis.

The country’s power stations have been recording a multitude of blackouts for months now while breakdowns are becoming increasingly frequent. Meanwhile, the state-owned power utility, Eskom, is struggling financially to keep its combined cycle gas turbines running. The utility has also previously been forced to shut down some of its power plants, worsening the situation.