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DA wants Eskom to be declared a state of disaster as load-shedding is pushed to stage 4

19 April 2022 - 09:21
The DA says Eskom must be declared a state of disaster for failing to prevent the ongoing load-shedding.Stock photo.
The DA says Eskom must be declared a state of disaster for failing to prevent the ongoing load-shedding.Stock photo.
Image: 123RF

The DA says Eskom must be declared a state of disaster for failing to prevent ongoing load-shedding.

The power utility on Tuesday ramped up load-shedding from stage 2 to 4, saying it was forced to escalate the power cuts after units at the Majuba and Tutuka power stations tripped.

Stage 2 blackouts had been in effect since Sunday and were expected to end at 5am on Wednesday.

“Regretfully, Eskom has just been forced to implement stage 4 load-shedding at 7.20am following Majuba Unit 5 and Tutuka Unit 4 tripping,” Eskom announced on Tuesday morning. 

The power utility said its group CEO, André de Ruyter, will hold a media briefing at which Eskom’s management team will provide an update on the current system challenges.

In a statement, DA shadow minister of public enterprises Ghaleb Cachalia said Eskom has “proved beyond any doubt it is not able to solve SA’s 14-year-old load-shedding crisis”.  

“The entity’s old generation fleet is on life support and is constantly tripping, resulting in power outages being announced at short and debilitating notice.

“It is now high time that our demands are addressed. The dire situation in KwaZulu-Natal is being compounded by electricity supply issues which affect the ability, inter alia, to pump much-needed water supplies. People are dying, businesses will die, ports are closed and the country will grind to a halt,” said Cachalia.

He said the announcement of 17 gigawatts (GW) of unplanned outages and a further 5GW offline for planned maintenance means that the country is in a state of disaster, driven by Eskom’s ongoing failures.

“The DA demands that cabinet addresses this forthwith and that the situation at Eskom is dealt with urgently by way of the declaration of a state of disaster at Eskom as a prelude to a commission of inquiry into our generation of electricity,” said Cachalia.

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