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South African president blames load shedding on sabotage

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The National Union of Metal Workers (NUMSA) has rejected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s allegations that power utility Eskom’s failure to provide adequate electricity nationwide was due to sabotage.

Ramaphosa, speaking at Eskom’s head office in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 11 December 2019, blamed possible acts of sabotage as having led to the current blackouts in the country. 

In this regard, he vowed that this would be investigated by police and intelligence services. 

The alleged sabotage apparently occurred at the Tutuka Power Station in the Mpumalanga province.

NUMSA, however, insisted that load shedding challenges facing South Africa were the result of failures of leadership at Eskom and the ruling African National Congress party — and not “sabotage”as Ramaphosa claimed.

NUMSA spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, said that Eskom management was responsible for the crumbling infrastructure at the power utility due to alleged corruption.

“We must say, as NUMSA, we are quite surprised to hear these allegations of sabotage, which are being used as a basis of an excuse for the blackouts, which have rolled out across the country,” she said. 

“As NUMSA, we are saying this situation is as a result of a failure of leadership at Eskom,” Hlubi-Majola said. 

“It (Eskom) has been a complete failure to deal with maintenance since 2012, as a result of failure of Eskom and government.”  

The president assured South Africans that the power utility would keep the lights on this Christmas.

“Eskom has given an assurance that from 17 December 2019 to 13 January 2020, we should not be in a position to have any form of load shedding,” he said after his emergency talks with Eskom managers. 

– APA 

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