Ramaphosa pleads for 'perseverance' as country battles energy crisis
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday described the challenges facing crisis-stricken Eskom as “complex” saying measures were being taken to address them.
Speaking at his first public engagement since returning from attending Queen Elizabeth's funeral in the UK on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said: “The challenge is being addressed. It’s a complex one and we will be speaking soon about various measures that we are taking to make sure that we address this challenge.”
Ramaphosa’s comments come as SA has been battling with stage 6 load-shedding which has left many households and businesses in the dark.
Addressing scores of people attending the national Heritage Day celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Ramaphosa said the country has faced a myriad of challenges.
“We are going through the throes of an energy crisis — a crisis that has been with us for many years and a crisis that we continue to make all efforts to address.
“But in the recent two weeks we have been seeing rising load-shedding completely disrupting our lives, our economy and causing havoc from a social and health point of view.
“These are the challenges that we face. Even as we face these challenges, as South Africans, as we have done in the past, we have persevered and I ask once again let us persevere,” said Ramaphosa.
The country has also just emerged from a devastating Covid-19 pandemic which claimed the lives of more than 100,000 South Africans, he said.
“A pandemic that is not yet over. It is still here with us, even though it’s much less intensive than it was. Then we had the unrest last year, then it was the loss of jobs where more than 2 million people lost their jobs and the economy suffered greatly.”
He said the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape destroyed the lives of many people.
“And then we have also had challenges of rising food prices and fuel prices as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that is having an impact on us.”
Ramaphosa's cabinet met virtually on Wednesday with Eskom topping the agenda. The cabinet expressed it's “regret” about the rolling blackouts saying a comprehensive statement would be released later.
It received a briefing from public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on the capacity of Eskom and a progress report from the technical committee of the newly established national energy crisis committee. The cabinet said it was still deliberating on the reports.
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