Ramaphosa: ANC’s top priority is to end load shedding

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As the country continues to suffer from excruciating and deliberate load shedding, African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to end the rolling blackouts.

South Africa has so far experienced more than 226 days of load shedding with January 2022 the only month without any blackouts as failing state-owned entity Eskom battles to keep the lights on.

The parastatal has warned South Africans will have to work around the deliberate power cuts until further notice.

Load shedding

While Eskom has downgraded load shedding to stage 3 from stage 4 on Monday morning, the impact of the rolling blackouts has had a devastating effect on citizens and the economy.

Stage 3 power cuts are expected to last at least until 4pm, with the two stages being implemented interchangeably daily as the power utility battling several problems.

This includes a lack of generating capacity due to the consistent breakdowns of units at several power stations and an attempt on the life of outgoing Eskom CEO André de Ruyter.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha shared the breakdowns that have caused the country to be plunged into excessive darkness.

De Ruyter poisoned

Eskom’s Head of Security said Karen Pillay said she could not provide further details on De Ruyter’s poisoning

De Ruyter is expected to vacate the hot seat on 31 March after resigning from Eskom last year.

“Eskom cannot comment further on the poisoning incident involving the Group Chief Executive, which occurred during December 2022, as the matter is subject to police investigation. A criminal complaint has been laid at the Hermanus Police Station under CAS 82/1/2023” said Pillay.

Pillay said the complaint has been transferred to the Midrand Police Station.

Ramaphosa’s vows to end load shedding

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa on Sunday reiterated that plans are in the pipeline to end load shedding.

Ramaphosa made the comments during his January 8th address at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Mangaung.

As South African’s become angrier and more frustrated over the power cuts, Ramaphosa vowed to ensure additional megawatts will be added to the strained electricity grid.

Priorities

Ramaphosa, said ending blackouts and solving the energy crisis is one of the ANC’s top priorities.

“We must return Eskom’s generation capacity to optimum performance. This responsibility will be given to capable and qualified individuals. We must also tackle sabotage at ANC. We will also lead a campaign against illegal connections.”

“We need to pursue with greater focus and purpose the measures we have already announced and agreed to reduce the frequency and the severity of load-shedding and ultimately to end it.

Ramaphosa conceded that load shedding is harming the country’s economic growth, something south African, businesses and economists have been saying for months.

Faizel Patel/The Citizen