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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Ramaphosa: No short term solutions to end load shedding

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that South Africans will need to bite the bullet and put up with erratic power supply for the foreseeable future.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that South Africans will need to bite the bullet and put up with erratic power supply for the foreseeable future.

In his weekly letter, Ramaphosa provided a tiny ounce of feedback from this past week’s back-to-back meetings with stakeholders about the load shedding crisis.

Meeting feedback

Stakeholders included representatives of labour, business, traditional leaders, religious leaders and the community constituency, premiers, metro mayors and leaders of political parties.

“In each of those meetings, I stressed the importance of staying the course instead of coming up with unsustainable short-term solutions.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite a national Energy Action Plan, endorsed by energy experts to help Eskom navigate out of the crisis, the measures will not be felt in immediately

ALSO READ: How load shedding is crippling municipalities

Ramaphosa stressed that his government was using every means and calling on every resource to get power onto the grid as a matter of urgency.

Resuscitating dying coal plants

Eskom’s ageing and failing fleet of coal-fired power stations supply the bulk of South Africa’s energy.

But most of Eskom’s resources and attention is directed towards resuscitating the country’s practically powerless plants.

“A team of independent experts is diagnosing the problems at poorly performing power stations and taking action to improve plant performance,” explained Ramaphosa.

But they’ve identified six culprits that are particularly problematic and will require several months of downtime from the grid.

“Eskom is also working to connect Kusile Unit 5 to the grid by September this year.

ALSO READ: Eskom to celebrate 100 years of supplying SA with electricity as load shedding worsens

Every urgent effort is being made to restore other units at Medupi, Kusile and Koeberg with significant capacity,” said the president.

The power giant has since imported 300 MW of capacity from neighbouring countries while negotiations are underway to secure an additional 1 000 MW.

Over the next three years, Eskom will also buy additional capacity from companies generating their power.

The demands for an immediate end to power cuts are wholly understandable. Everyone is fed up.

Cyril Ramaphosa

The president acknowledged that a lack of investment in new generating capacity, deferred power plant maintenance, corruption and criminality, sabotage of infrastructure, rising municipal debt and a lack of suitable skills at Eskom have all created a perfect storm we find ourselves in.

But number one was resolute in his weekly letter to the nation: Nothing can be done in the near future to save us from the darkness.

NOW READ: Ramaphosa’s Necom releases update on plans to end load shedding

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