JOHANNESBURG – As President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to meet with Eskom’s board and management on Wednesday morning, his deputy David Mabuza said the power utility must present a clear plan to deal with the rolling blackouts.
On Tuesday, Mabuza apologised on behalf of government for the inconvenience caused by load shedding.
He said government expected Eskom to come up with a plan to minimise the power cuts.
“They must plan maintenance and reduce unplanned disruptions.”
Mabuza said tough decisions would be taken to sort out the mess at Eskom and other state-owned enterprises.
“Some of the decisions we’re going to take are going to be very unpopular decisions in order to fix these state-owned enterprises.”
He was speaking at the South African Communist Party’s special national congress.
I DIDN’T KNOW
Ramaphosa on Tuesday said he didn’t know about Eskom’s implementation of stage 6 load shedding when he left the country.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa cut his trip to Egypt short and returned to South Africa to deal with the electricity crisis.
He left for Cairo at the same time that load shedding had been ramped up.
The Presidency said Ramaphosa decided to return home earlier than planned to “deal with domestic priorities” including the electricity crisis and the floods in parts of the country.
But many have been asking why the president left in the first place if he knew about the implementation of stage 6 load shedding.
His spokesperson Khusela Diko said he didn’t know: “He had received an update on the stage 6 load shedding that had been announced by Eskom after departing South Africa. The president will receive a full briefing on measures that are going to be taken to mitigate the current electricity crisis.”
Eskom on Tuesday said it had made progress in recovering from localised flooding at its power stations.
The power utility has implemented stage 2 load shedding until 11 pm on Wednesday.
The cash-strapped entity has been battling to keep the lights on since last week, citing wet coal and a constrained power grid.
For the first time in its history, it announced stage 6 load shedding on Monday causing panic amongst South Africans.