News / South Africa

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
27 Oct 2021
1:41 pm

Even Mabuza’s crossed fingers couldn’t stop more load shedding

Citizen Reporter

Eskom has announced stage 4 load shedding until Friday, after David Mabuza said power cuts were negatively affecting the ANC's election campaigning.

Deputy President David Mabuza handing supporters ANC merchandise in Mamelodi during the ANC local government elections programme on 30 September 2021 in Tshwane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

ANC deputy president David Mabuza has expressed concerns over the impact that load shedding will have on the party’s campaign to woo voters ahead of the local government elections.

Protests around the lack of electricity have also been rife during this election campaign season, with the country set to head to the polls on Monday 1 November.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last year appointed Mabuza to lead the war room to restore Eskom as it continues to battles failures at its power stations.

Election campaign

Addressing disgruntled residents of Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, on Tuesday, Mabuza said although he understood the current issues plaguing Eskom, load shedding was affecting the ANC’s campaign.

“It is affecting our campaign because people are complaining about electricity and it is the problem we know.

“I am just keeping our fingers crossed that Kusile and Medupi should come online fully and that will improve our situation a bit but of course, we have got all these independent producers that are coming online and I am sure that will also have a positive effect,” he told SABC.

However, it seems like even Mabuza’s crossed fingers could not stop more load shedding for South Africans.

ALSO READ: Too late for Eskom to try and fix old power stations, says expert

This comes after Eskom announced on Wednesday that it would implement stage 4 load shedding until 5am on Friday.

The power utility said this was due to a shortage of generation capacity and units tripping at several power stations including Medupi and Kusile power stations.

“Over the past 24 hours, a unit each at the Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were [sic] forced to shut down.

“This constrained the power system further, requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves,” Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said in a statement.

Eskom had initially started implementing stage 2 last week Saturday, however, it was extended on Tuesday, despite some its generating units returning to service.

It is anticipated that there will not be load shedding on election day.

Expect load shedding this summer

On Monday, Eskom executives briefed the media on the state of the power system, and warned that South Africans should expect a number of days of load shedding this summer.

Eskom’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said they were prioritising their reliability maintenance programme, which was not a one-off but ongoing.

“Our generation business remains a concern, mainly due to its age and a legacy of poor maintenance,” Oberholzer said.