President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a National State of Disaster over the electricity crisis with immediate effect.
Ramaphosa made the announcement while delivering the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
He says the state of disaster will exempt critical infrastructure including hospitals and water treatment plants from rolling blackouts.
“The National Disaster Management Centre has consequently classified the energy crisis and its impact as a disaster.
“We are therefore declaring a national state of disaster to respond to the electricity crisis and its effects,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs gazetted the declaration of the State of Disaster, which will begin with immediate effect.
“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.
“Where technically possible, it will enable us to exempt critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants from load-shedding,” the president said.
“And it will enable us to accelerate energy projects and limit regulatory requirements while maintaining rigorous environmental protections, procurement principles and technical standards.”