Published: Thu, December 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ramaphosa says Eskom system sabotaged, adds bosses are working on recovery plan

Ramaphosa says Eskom system sabotaged, adds bosses are working on recovery plan

"We have contracts that we have signed, with Zesa of Zimbabwe and Zesco of Zambia. I do not know if we have started with Zesco", he said.

The power cuts, which have disrupted the supply of electricity to businesses and households across South Africa, dealt a further blow to an economy already teetering on the brink of recession.

Oberholzer said he signed the contract with Zesco two weeks ago.

"Rather than starting to warn the public of a constrained network at around 10 000 MW unplanned outages, Eskom should be compelled to constantly keep the public informed about the exact status of its power network". "The contracts have been signed as non-firm", he stressed.

With no permanent solution in place for Eskom's financial and operational woes, South Africans are making long-term plans to survive more load shedding at home.

The utility later scaled back to Stage 4 and then Stage 2 load-shedding and, on Tuesday, said it was likely to implement load-shedding throughout the remainder of this week.

Eskom announced on Wednesday that it would implement Stage 2 rotational load-shedding until 11pm due to capacity constraints.

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The president is now meeting with Gordhan and Mantashe to discuss the state of Eskom and alternative energy solutions.

While Eskom has attributed the blackouts to the breakdown of generation units, wet coal and technical problems at Medupi, Ramaphosa says there has also been an act of sabotage. "The probability of load-shedding remains high for the rest of the week", said Eskom.

According to Ramaphosa, Eskom managment and executives will not take leave over the festive season, to ensure the country does not experience load shedding.

Addressing South Africans in a live broadcast, the President reassured South Africans that: "Eskom has given an assurance that from the 17th December 2019 to 13 January 2020 we should not be in a position to have any form of load shedding".

Ramaphosa, who cut short a state visit to Egypt as the power crisis deepened, met with Eskom's management and board on Wednesday as mines forced to halt operations earlier in the week reopened. Among the proposals include self-generation and the use of floating generators.

An investigation into the acts of sabotage is underway.

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