Exam centres can’t be exempt from rolling blackouts: Eskom

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The Basic Education Department says Eskom told its officials that it is not possible to exempt examination centres from rolling blackouts because they are not situated in one central place.

The Matric class of 2022 will begin their final examinations on Tuesday, amid concerns of disruptions due to rolling blackouts. But the department has expressed confidence that end-of-year exams will still be written.

There are 923 460 learners (both full-time and part-time) enrolled for the National Senior Certificate exams, according to the department.

The department’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says that a small number of candidates have already started with exams, writing practical subjects.

“There’s a small number that are writing computer technology as well as information technology, which are practical subjects, which are not written by everyone. But, the main exam with us, we’re starting on Monday (October 31).”

Mhlanga says, “We tried to put the case across but we were told that it would not be possible because the centres are all over the place. They are not located in one place where you could exempt them from power cuts.”

“So, if they were to try to keep the lights on, there would be no load shedding. That’s what we are asking for, to say can’t you just keep the lights on and supply electricity, at least for the duration of the exams because these are practical subjects which cannot be done without electricity,” adds Mhlanga.

Below is the full interview with Mhlanga on SAFM’s FirstTake programme: