In an ironic twist, the African National Congress (ANC) released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the decision taken by Eskom, a state-owned entity (SOE), to implement stage 4 loadshedding.
Eskom claims loadshedding will be lifted this weekend
Faced with backlash from the onset of increased rotational power outages, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter held a press briefing on Wednesday evening, to lay out plans to lift South Africa out of darkness before Election Day.
The pair revealed that the short-term strategy the national power supplier has taken is to feed at least 2 000MW back to the grid.
“Eskom and the government are doing everything possible to ensure elections can go ahead without disruption,” Gordhan said.
De Ruyter added that from Thursday, an effort will be made to reduce loadshedding stages further down with increased maintenance and repair work done on flailing power stations.
However, Gordhan did concede to the fact that a short reprieve from power cuts was not the ideal solution Eskom needs to remove loadshedding.
“Far more needs to be done in terms of the energy system in SA to reach a point of energy security for economic growth.” he added.
ANC blasts power utility leadership
In the midst of the furore that broke out after Gordhan’s press briefing, the ANC surfaced with a scathing statement targeted at leaders of the state-owned entity (SOE).
The ruling party lambasted the power utility for failing to keep the grid stable, despite the fact that matric pupils kicked off their crucial National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations on Wednesday.
“Given the inconsistency in information and assurances received from the utility, the ANC is by all intents and purposes quite concerned that these acts may be the deliberate actions of some within Eskom for political ends,” the party claimed.
Days after Eskom had delivered its annual ‘state of the system’ address, the ruling party called on the utility’s leaders to explain the cause of recent blackouts “in order to make an honest assessment on whether the right skills and leadership are at our disposal at the utility under the current circumstances.”
“The anxiety and disruption meted upon our people by the inconsistency in messaging and failure to take the nation into confidence in the state of the grid must be condemned,” the party wrote.