‘Blackouts a big Ankole of a problem for the whole economy’ — Maimane takes aim at Ramaphosa
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has taken a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa over SA’s energy crisis, claiming load-shedding has become “a big Ankole of a problem for the whole economy”.
SA has been battling rolling blackouts for several days, with load-shedding reduced to stage 3 from 5am on Monday and to stage 2 at 5am on Tuesday. However, at 9am on Tuesday, Eskom said it was heading back to stage 4 until Thursday morning,
The power cuts come as Eskom warned the country may experience 49 weeks of load-shedding over the next year.
Maimane joined the chorus of outrage on social media, calling out Ramaphosa for promises made.
“The president was in the Eskom war room in 2015. A full seven years ago. Three years ago Ramaphosa promised blackouts would be a thing of the past and yet they have become a big Ankole of a problem for the whole economy,” he said, referencing the president’s highly-publicised cattle.
TimesLIVE asked readers if they thought Eskom was doing enough to fix rolling blackouts. Most (61%) said the problem was government not taking the power crisis seriously.
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer admitted this week its maintenance programme is not yielding the required results, and warned of more load-shedding during summer.
“Many generating units return from planned maintenance only to suffer breakdowns again,” said Oberholzer.
“The standard and quality of work being done are not what they should be owing to lack of skills, particularly artisan skills, and skilled operators in Eskom and some of our partner contractors.”
According to public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, Eskom could implement 191 days of load-shedding during summer.
As of Tuesday, SA had endured 99 days of load-shedding in the year to date, with more on the cards this week. According to popular app EskomSePush, SA has experienced 1,345 hours so far this year.
This would put it as the worst year for load-shedding to date.
According to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research annual stats, load-shedding occurred for 1,169 hours in 2021, with an upper limit of 2,521GWh. In 2020, load-shedding occurred for 859 hours, 530 hours in 2019 and 127 hours the year before that.
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