Government gives weak assurances Stage 6 loadshedding is “short-term”

  • In a briefing to Cabinet, Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni reported that higher levels of loadshedding were brought about by maintenance.
  • This increased level of loadshedding is said to be short-term, but no timeline was given in the four paragraphs reporting back on this matter.
  • Without a timeline this promise means very little to South Africans who are stuck in Stage 6 loadshedding for the foreseeable future.

As South Africa battles with Stage 6 loadshedding, leaving citizens without power for up to 12 hours of the 24 in a day, government has given some incredibly vague assurances about the problem.

Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni updated Cabinet on the planned maintenance plan currently being implemented by Eskom.

This maintenance means fewer generating units are available as they are serviced, unfortunately, Eskom’s inability to cover the shortfall that occurs in this instance means there are fewer generating units overall leading to the need for higher stages of loadshedding.

This week the wheels came off of the Eskom bus as the frequency of bloackouts was quickly upgraded in severity from Stage 4 to Stage 6 in rapid fashion.

“The implementation of Stage 6 loadshedding in the last week was a regress from the trends that prevailed in the previous weeks of lower stages of loadshedding,” Ntshavheni told Cabinet.

This was followed up by a vague statement that the increased stages of blackouts are a “short-term” phase and lessened stages of loadshedding will be implemented in the “not-so-distant future”. However, the minister offered no timeline or a promise that higher stages of loadshedding would be eliminated entirely.

“The Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, will continue to update the nation on the progress being made to address the current electricity challenges and the steps being taken to ultimately end loadshedding,” the minister added.

And that’s the update. We’re not joking, the most important crisis the government is facing was summed up in four short paragraphs, you can read them here if you don’t believe us.

This is of little comfort to South Africans. The power utility simply isn’t able to meet demand even when said demand is lower than it was in Winter. It also doesn’t help that Eskom threatens citizens in the midst of a cold-front, with higher stages of loadshedding.

Stage 6 remains in effect for the rest of the week or until generating capacity improves.


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