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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Eskom agitates for ‘overthrow of the state’ by not dealing with load shedding – Mantashe

Load shedding is worse than state capture, Mantashe said, having a go at Eskom as the country battled stage 6 load shedding


As the country battles stage 6 load shedding, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has had a go at Eskom saying that load shedding is worse than state capture.

Mantashe made the remarks at a signing ceremony for winning bidders in round five of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme in Pretoria on Thursday.

The minister said to bring a swift end to load shedding, Eskom had to solve its generation capacity problem.

Eskom trying to overthrow government

Mantashe added that Eskom’s failure to arrest the decline of the generation fleet could be interpreted as an attempt at overthrowing government Business Day reported.

“Eskom must attend to this problem. By not attending to load shedding Eskom is agitating to overthrow the state.”

Mantashe on de Ruyter

Mantashe’s comments is a clear indication that Eskom CEO André de Ruyter does not have the backing of the minister.

He likened de Ruyter to a “policeman” who is focused on “chasing criminals, ” without a grasp of the power utility’s challenges.

He also said de Ruyter should be replaced with someone with technical capabilities running Eskom

“When you are a lawyer, the actual challenges you are not going to understand. You are going to chase criminals; that is your competence,” he told News24.

ALSO READ: ‘De Ruyter is at Eskom because he’s white’ – Floyd Shivambu

Load shedding a global phenomenon

In September, Mantashe was labelled as a “fool” after the minister told South Africans to “stop complaining” because electricity outages are a global phenomenon.

“This is a global phenomenon but we have a responsibility here to address the crisis. “That’s why we’re still in crisis mode – because it’s a crisis. You don’t need to explain it, you just need to work hard to resolve it,” Mantashe said.

Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chief executive Wayne Duvenage said Mantashe had “made a fool of himself” by comparing Europe’s energy crisis to SA’s self-made, decades-long disaster, which proved that “ours is a unique problem”.

Stage 6

Eskom said it needed to shed 6,000MW from the power grid if it hoped to prevent blackout of the electricity grid.

The parastatal implemented stage 6 load shedding on Wednesday citing a high number of breakdowns including the requirement to strictly preserve the remaining emergency generation reserves.

The failing state-owned-entity said stage 6, which was last implemented in September 2022, will continue unabated at least until 5am on Friday morning whereafter stage 5 will be implemented until 5am on Saturday morning.

Koeberg Unit 1

Eskom also said the outage of Koeberg Unit 1 had been delayed to this Thursday afternoon to get some time to stabilise the system after concerns were raised that load shedding could be implemented at even higher stages.

Koeberg unit 1 is the most reliable unit in the Eskom fleet and will be down until mid-2023, pulling 920MW from the grid.

Impact

The deliberate power cuts have had a detrimental effect on South Africa’s economy with businesses losing productivity.

Load shedding has also driven South Africans to a breaking point of anger and frustration with January the only month where there was no load shedding, according to Outlier.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘Government must act to end load shedding’ – ANC’s Pule Mabe

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Eskom Gwede Mantashe Rolling blackouts

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