LISTEN | They're not 'blackouts', says Eskom boss Andre de Ruyter

Blackouts and load-shedding are different things, Eskom boss Andre de Ruyter insisted on Wednesday

10 November 2021 - 15:48
FILE PHOTO: Andre de Ruyter, Chief Executive of state-owned power utility Eskom says the power cuts in SA are not blackouts, but rather load-shedding.
FILE PHOTO: Andre de Ruyter, Chief Executive of state-owned power utility Eskom says the power cuts in SA are not blackouts, but rather load-shedding.
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

SA's rotational power cuts were not “blackouts”, Eskom boss Andre de Ruyter said on Wednesday.

And he was insistent that this was not just a matter of semantics.

“Colleagues, I think it's ... very important for us also to distinguish between what is now called by certain members of the media 'blackouts'. This terminology is, in fact, not correct. What we are implementing is called 'load-shedding'. And you may think that this is a euphemism, it is not. A blackout is exactly what we are trying to avoid by implementing load-shedding,” he said.

He explained that a blackout was when an entire electricity system was unable to maintain its frequency, and “leads to the total loss of electricity transmission and distribution capacity”. This could last for “a number of days and, in some instances, even weeks”.

“So that is the catastrophic outcome we are trying to avoid by managing the demand through load-shedding,” he said.

De Ruyter said examples of blackouts were in Texas and parts of California in the US, and also recently in Zambia.

Earlier in the briefing - which will now be done daily, with the next one tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning - the CEO said Eskom was still on track to end load-shedding by 5am Saturday, as had been announced on Tuesday afternoon.

TimesLIVE


subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.