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
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.
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