Presidency defends Ramaphosa’s no planned load-shedding promise
Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Deputy President David Mabuza did not infer any “malicious intent” when he said on Thursday that the minister of public enterprises and the Eskom board had misled President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding load-shedding.
Diko would not say late on Thursday whether Ramaphosa had been misled about the situation at Eskom, as the current load-shedding in the country was unplanned.
Diko said the commitment made by the Eskom board in December was that there would be no planned load-shedding before January 13. The load-shedding experienced since the weekend had been unplanned, she said.
Her comments come on the back of Mabuza telling reporters that Ramaphosa was misled.
“They’ve misled the president, but right from the day we went there with the president I insisted on maintenance,” he said to journalists on the sidelines of an ANC blitz in Kimberley on Thursday.
Diko said Eskom's problems would not be solved if the issues around its aged infrastructure were not dealt with.
“As the deputy president himself has said, what we have seen are challenges with maintenance at Eskom,” she said.
After unprecedented stage six load-shedding in December, Ramaphosa cut short a trip to Egypt to deal with the Eskom crises.
He was committed to a turnaround at the power utility.
“So to a large extent the emergency recovery plan that Eskom had put in place during December has been largely successful. We didn’t see any planned load-shedding during December and right now we are dealing with something that has been totally unplanned,” Diko said.
Meanwhile, Diko said Ramaphosa was looking at “changes that need to be made within the board itself”.
“The president is wholly seized with the matter of Eskom,” she added.