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Work is underway to stop power cuts, says Presidency after Stage 5 load disconnection announced


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Vincent Magwenya Photo: Twitter/Presidensie

  • Measures are underway to stop power outages, presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya said.
  • It briefed the media on Sunday, shortly after Eskom announced that the Stage 5 load shedding would be implemented next week.
  • He said President Cyril Ramaphosa has been open about the devastation caused by the power outages.

After admitting that it is difficult to remain optimistic, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, said measures are underway to stop the load reduction.

Magwenya briefed the media on Sunday afternoon, shortly after Eskom announced that the Stage 5 load reduction was planned for next week.

“I think the president has been quite open in accepting the devastating nature of the burden reduction, not just for households but also for businesses, the economy and jobs,” Magwenya said.

He said that so far this year, there have been about 162 days with power outages, making it the worst year in terms of load outages.

ESKOM LIVE | Stage 5 load shedding will begin this week

“It will take time for Eskom to bring the generating units at Kusile and other power plants back into service, and for new sources of capacity to come online, including from private generators.

“As I’ve said, for homes and businesses that have been so severely impacted by intermittent power supply, the prospect of further load reduction is deeply daunting.”

He said:

Sometimes it is difficult to remain optimistic when the results of our actions are not felt immediately. However, at the same time, we must say that there are a number of initiatives already underway that will make load shedding a thing of the past.

It said Ramaphosa had announced measures in July this year to prevent load shedding by improving the performance of Eskom’s power plants and adding new generation capacity to the grid in the shortest possible time.

The National Energy Crisis Committee oversaw these measures over the past three months.

He said Eskom was recruiting qualified staff, including former senior plant managers and engineers from the private sector. To date, 18 qualified professionals had returned to Eskom, where they would work closely with Eskom’s permanent teams to transfer their skills.

In addition, the police had created a special unit to tackle sabotage, theft and corruption at Eskom.

READ | Maintenance worker arrested for sabotage at Eskom’s Camden power station

There are currently 67 cases in the courts, of which three have ended with convictions.

“Just this week, a contractor working at the Camden Power Station was arrested for a sabotage incident aimed at securing more maintenance and repair work for his company,” Magwenya said.

Magwenya added that Eskom’s new board had formed a committee to improve the plant’s performance.

“These and other measures will stabilize the performance of the existing fleet and lead to improved reliability for the coming months,” he said.


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