Speaking at a media briefing held at Eskom’s Megawatt Park headquarters in Johannesburg, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that sabotage from within Eskom led to Stage 6 loadshedding.
The president cut a political trip to Egypt short this week following the escalation of loadshedding as well as flooding in several parts of the country which has claimed many lives.
The president started the briefing by outlining the reasons loadshedding was upgraded so drastically this week before alleging that Eskom had experienced sabotage.
“What has also come out is a great concern. There has been a measure of sabotage that has led to the loss during this period of 2 000MW,” said Ramaphosa.
“Someone in the Eskom system disconnected one of the instruments that finally led to one of the boilers tripping and us losing as much as 2 000MW. I think it was two boilers,” the president added.
Cable theft and damage to Eskom’s infrastructure were also cited as reasons for the dip in generating capacity.
While Ramaphosa commended decision makers for mitigating the situation he said that more could have, and should have been done.
“We get a sense that they have not acted with the urgency that is required. They need to be much more agile and underpin what they do with greater urgency. They must be able to anticipate some of these breakages that happened,” the president said.
“Of course one of the things we observed is that maintenance of our fleet is rather slow and not as deep as it should be. Maintenance is one of the key problems that faces us,” he added.
The president then went on to say that there must be greater accountability at a managerial level rather than blame shifting.
A slice of good news came from the briefing.
Ramaphosa has promised that from 17th December 2019 through to 13th January 2020, there will be no loadshedding. In order to accomplish this, the president has cancelled all leave for the December period.
“All leave until January is cancelled. All executives must remain in place and all key managers must remain in place to insure that we do not have loadshedding,” said Ramaphosa.
Whether Eskom will be able to hold up its end of the bargain remains to be seem. Given that many businesses close over this time period we are hopeful there won’t be loadshedding but we’re keeping our schedules and candles close-by, just in case.[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]