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Gordhan and Mabuza to address media on electricity supply crisis

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Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza will address the media about the current load shedding crisis on Tuesday, 19 March 2019.

The media briefing by Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza is expected to take place in Rosebank, north of Johannesburg, on Tuesday morning, 19 March 2019. The power utility has capacity shortages due to faults and damages at its coal-fired power stations. Diesel shortages and low water levels are also a contributing factor as hydro-electric plants are struggling to supply power.

This has led to the country experiencing Stage 4 load shedding for five days in a row and citizens have been urged to switch off non-essential appliances to help lower the power demand. Acting head of generation at Eskom, Andrew Eitzinger, has announced that Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented as from 09:00 on Tuesday, 19 March 2019.

“Today we will be implementing Stage 4 load shedding. Once again, this is due to a large shortage of generation plants on Eskom’s side as well as the lines from Mozambique still down. From tomorrow we will be seeing a slight improvement in the situation, but we unfortunately still will be at Stage 4 load shedding but from Thursday the situation will ease,” he said.

The implementation of Stage 4 load shedding has frustrated consumers and business people alike. The president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs, has spoken out about this new implementation, warning that if nothing is done to resolve the current problem, it will only deepen. He also noted that this crisis is forcing businesses to find alternative means for electricity supply.

“The present crisis is hurting business, municipalities and Eskom. Businesses need electricity to survive. Eskom desperately need more power to keep going but instead finds itself and its revenue going down while it costs increase it has to use diesel which is expensive to keep its emergency gas turbines going,” he said.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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