Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says acts of sabotage continue to contribute to Eskom’s struggles in providing power.
He has told members of parliament during his department’s budget vote that someone had cut an important cable at Hendrina Power Station, that would have allowed it to be connected to the rest of the grid.
Gordhan says this is one of several incidents or sabotage and corruption that have been exposed in recent days.
He says these acts have contributed directly to the blackouts that has afflicted the country.
“The acts of the greedy, corrupt, the bully, the counter-revolutionary, set back our progress as a democracy and stop us from becoming a caring nation. Not just point fingers amongst ourselves,” says Gordhan.
Meanwhile, speaking on the sidelines of the Presidential Imbizo underway in Carolina in Mpumalanga, Minister for Minerals and Energy Gwede Mantashe says the growing economy and population also contribute to the high electricity demand.
He says close to 90-percent of people have access to electricity, compared to 1994 when only 34-percent had electricity.
“Eskom has connected a capacity of 45 000 megawatts. It hardly works at 30 000 megawatts, and that gap is quite important when they talk of 6 000 megawatts shortage. I always wonder if there is a 15 000 gap between connected capacity and operational capacity, there is a need for supplementary to add volume into the grid,” says Mantashe.
Mantashe speaks to the SABC about the electricity demand:
Additional reporting by Eric Lubisi