Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday called for swift actions on South Africa’s “devasting power cuts”, after he received an update on recent developments at Eskom’s power stations, which resulted in the escalation of load shedding to Stage 6.
“The ongoing load shedding is devastating for the country. It is causing our economy great harm and disrupting the lives of citizens,” Mr. Ramaphosa said, according to a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA.
“Our immediate priority is to get as much generating capacity back on line within the shortest possible time. Eskom’s emergency response command centre and technical teams are working around the clock to fix multiple breakdowns.
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“The extreme weather in several parts of the country over the last week has compounded the problems of an electricity grid that was already under great strain.
“The anger and frustration that this load shedding has caused is understandable. It is essential at this time that all stakeholders work together to restore adequate supply of electricity in the shortest time. We call on all South Africans, especially energy intensive users, to reduce consumption at this time.”
The presidency said Mr. Ramaphosa has been in constant communication with the Minister of Public Enterprises and the leadership of the electricity utility on the state of the national grid and on the work being done to address the current crisis.
“Government has taken far-reaching and necessary decisions to ensure the sustainable security of energy supply. As we confront the immediate challenges, we are working to put these long term solutions in place.”
“The energy challenges in this country will not be resolved overnight. We have set out on a bold path of restructuring and rebuilding. Despite the setbacks of the past week, we are making progress and will steadily begin to see the fruits of these efforts.”
The President has directed the Ministry of Public Enterprises as well as Eskom to continue to give regular updates and communication on the progress being made to restore the units back to full capacity.