Source: South Africa News Agency
Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has called on the board of Eskom to “act with urgency” on Eskom management’s handling of load shedding.
The power utility announced on Thursday that the country will be going into stage six load shedding until Friday morning with stage five implemented from then on until Saturday morning.
“I met with the board of Eskom yesterday. I have directed them to meet and act with a great sense of urgency to ensure that the management of Eskom gets the country out of level six load shedding with immediate effect.
“Power cuts are having a devastating effect on households and livelihoods, investment and the economic climate. This is totally unacceptable. The frequency of breakdowns is certainly attributable to some element of malfunctioning within the Eskom system and possibly sabotage as well,” Gordhan said.
The minister said the power utility has had to beef up security to clamp down on criminality at power stations.
“We have had to call on law enforcement agencies to show a stronger presence at all Eskom power stations. Those who are involved in nefarious activities, beware. We will not tolerate any activities whose purpose is not the national interest.
“We apologise to the country about the impact and disruptions caused by load shedding and will keep the nation informed about the status of electricity,” Gordhan said.
Meanwhile, Eskom says the next six to 12 month will be a “difficult period” for South Africans as the power utility continues with long term maintenance and repairs to power stations.
“The refuelling and maintenance outage… as well as the long-term operation project of Unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, together with the October chimney failure that has forced three generation units offline at Kusile Power Station, will further reduce available generation capacity and exacerbate the occurrence of loadshedding over the next 6 -12 months.
“Eskom requests the public to exercise patience and tolerance during this difficult period,” Eskom said. – SAnews.gov.za
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