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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

‘I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true’ – Mashatile vows to end load shedding by end of year

Mashatile said government was making strides in addressing load shedding, ensuring energy security and enhancing logistics systems.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile is adamant load shedding will come to an end in 2024.

Mashatile made the comments at the University of Johannesburg’s School of Public Management, Governance, and Public Policy on Tuesday.

The deputy president delivered a public lecture at UJ to mark 30 years of democracy.

No more load shedding

Speaking to guests, Mashatile said government was making strides in addressing load shedding, ensuring energy security, enhancing logistics systems, and improving ports and rail networks.

“I would like to assure you that plans are in place, nationally, to ensure that load shedding is ended this year. I know you don’t believe me. They think I am electioneering, but I am not. It is true. That is why I am not saying it will end before the elections. I am saying this year.”

Mashatile said he had told Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa that after ending load shedding, the government must invest in new generation sources, ensure that Eskom builds new power stations, and implement renewables, including solar, wind, and gas.

“The Minister of Electricity has been working very hard, and some of you might have heard him saying he is working himself out of a job because he is going to end load shedding. So I said to him: ‘No, you are not working yourself out of a job because once you have ended load shedding, you must plan for another 10 years.”

With less than 50 days before the country heads to the polls, Mashatile also shared his thoughts on the upcoming national and provincial elections.

“As I stand before you today, as a nation, we are looking forward to the general election on 29 of May 2024. Given that many have registered political parties and aspire to serve in Parliament and the legislatures, I believe many will agree that this election is arguably the most important.”

ALSO READ: Ramokgopa credits maintenance and management for reduced load shedding

Reduction in power cuts

Meanwhile, Ramokgopa – during a media briefing on the energy action plan (EAP) on Tuesday – said planned maintenance and Eskom management were the drivers in the reduction in load shedding.

It has been 13 days since the power utility suspended load shedding, the longest period without power cuts this year.

“There has been an improvement, if we were to take the 1st to 31 March 2023, you will see that we only had about two periods of Stage 1 load shedding and now in this similar period this financial year we only have one stage of load shedding.

“Stage 1 to Stage 2 load shedding accounted for half of what we have experienced this year. The intensity of load shedding is coming down,” said Ramokgopa said.

The higher stages of load shedding were more frequent last year compared to this year.

Additional reporting by: Vhahangwele Nemakonde

ALSO READ: Eskom extends load shedding break until further notice