ANC wants answers from Gordhan and Eskom regarding load shedding

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The African National Congress (ANC) says it is demanding clear answers from Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter over Eskom’s decision to implement stage four load shedding.

The power utility says stage four load shedding, which started at midday today, will continue until five o’clock on Friday morning.

Stage 2 load shedding will then be implemented until five o’clock on Saturday morning.

Eskom says this is due to a shortage of generation capacity and units tripping at several power stations.

“Over the past 24 hours, a unit each at Medupi, Kusile, and Matla power stations tripped while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were forced to shut down. This constrained the power system further requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves. Some generating units have returned to service and we anticipate another two units to return to service during the day. Load shedding is implemented as a last resort to maintain the stability of the power system regardless of the stage of load shedding,” says Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

South Africans go to the polls on Monday in local government elections. The ANC’s Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte was speaking during the launch of the party’s local government barometer.

“We are demanding an answer. We want to know what is going on in Eskom. We are getting answers that relate to this area, we are fixing the transformers, but what is going on there? Why is this thing not able to be resolved? We want clear, unequivocal, straightforward answers from Minister Gordhan and the CEO. We can’t go on like this and it sounds like it is never going to end. We have lives to live, businesses to run and children to feed, etc. So, it is unacceptable.”

The ruling party was on the campaign trail in Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

SABC News Reporter Mbalenhle Mthethwa was in the area: