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Eskom to keep load shedding to stage 1 “at most”, going forward

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Eskom has a plan for the coming winter and promises no load shedding, saying that if there is scheduled shedding, then it would be kept to stage 1.

Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan has promised there will be no load shedding going forward, or it will be kept to stage 1, at most, provided that Eskom’s turnaround plan is implemented to the letter.

Gordhan was addressing the media on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, at the Lethabo power station when he concurred that, although it was “nice” to have plans, their nine-month plan would only be implemented property through discipline and ensuring that those who miss deadlines which affect power delivery would be brought to book.

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“An important culture change needs to happen in Eskom,” he said.

Gordhan promised the nation that there was a plan to ensure that the lights remained on during the winter months.

“We have a winter plan,” said Gordhan, adding that the plan regarded 1 May 2019 as the start of the season.

“We have, as an aim, that there should be no load shedding from now … If there is load shedding, at the most we will see level 1 load shedding on a few occasions.”

Present at the media briefing was Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza, who confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa had no intentions of privatising Eskom. Mabuza added that work would continue on the Kusile and Medupi power plants, because it would be too costly to stop at this stage.

Political parties have been vocal about the struggles at the power utility and Gordhan warned against political parties using Eskom as an electioneering tactic.

“Political parties should not electioneer on load shedding. It needs to be considered a national issue, not a political one. We are working hard to fix things and making statements to the contrary can be damaging for the public. In an era of fake news, we must only give the public facts.”

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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