President Cyril Ramaphosa has pleaded with South Africans not to panic as rolling power cuts across the country persisted for a fourth day as a result of breakdowns and planned outages at Eskom’s power stations.
“Let’s not panic. In some ways, we’ve been here before and we came out on the other side of the river. We will find solutions and the solutions are actually emerging”, Ramaphosa told journalists outside his official residence in Cape Town on Wednesday, 13 February 2019.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the severe power cuts were having a “devastating impact on our economy and on the ordinary lives of people”, but said his Cabinet was seized with the task of getting to the bottom of the outages.
“We (in Cabinet) are working on a number of plans to address this collectively and we are going to be coming up with some announcements tomorrow”, the president said, referring to his reply to the debate on the state-of-the-nation address scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Eskom, a state-owned company, is one of the hardest hit by state capture led by the Gupta Brothers who fled the country on the eve of former president Jacob Zuma’s fall from grace.
The Guptas, who Zuma publicly claimed as his family friends, owned Gloria Coal Mine in the northern Limpopo Province which is now under receivership.
The coal from the mine, which was involved in an accident three weeks ago that left six miners dead, had a ready market at Eskom’s power stations allegedly on favourable terms.