by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is confident of measures to address the shortfall in electricity supply in South Africa.
Breaking his silence on the crisis, he conceded over the past two weeks, severe load shedding had disrupted the economy and caused extreme hardship for South Africans.
The crisis deepened as Eskom implemented Stage 6 load shedding, triggered by the loss of over 18 000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity due to unit breakdowns and an unprotected strike by its workers.
“After more than a decade of electricity shortages, South Africans are right to feel frustrated and angry,” Ramaphosa said.
He added, “At times like this, it can feel like there is no end in sight.”
Ramaphosa said the immediate priority was to stabilise the electricity system.
“As the system recovers and generation capacity is restored, Eskom will be able to reduce load shedding to lower stages,” he assured.
It is expected the agreement reached between Eskom and labour unions will enable critical repairs and return additional units to operation.
The transmission line from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique has been restored, adding 600 MW to the grid, and Medupi Unit 6 returned to service on Saturday, adding another 720 MW.
“Additional units will come back online during the coming week, further easing the current shortfall,” Ramaphosa assured.
“At the same time, law enforcement agencies are working hard to tackle sabotage, theft and fraud at Eskom to address the threat that these criminal actions pose to the electricity system,” Ramaphosa said.
The president concluded that there were no easy solutions to the electricity crisis.
“But we are committed and determined to explore every avenue and use every opportunity to ensure that we generate enough electricity to meet the country’s needs,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa is already battling high youth unemployment and the impact of corruption.
– CAJ News