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Govt will not eliminate massive rolling blackouts in the short term: Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has conceded that government will not eliminate the current massive rolling blackouts in the short term.

In his letter to the nation, he however says government’s goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of the blackouts in the immediate term.

Ramaphosa says there is an end in sight to the electricity crisis as government is making progress in the implementation of additional measures that he announced in July this year.

He says he’s aware that the effects may not be immediately felt.

Ramaphosa says Eskom is urgently implementing measures to improve plant performance until new generation power projects are brought online.

He says the power utility is working with Transnet to ensure the consistency of coal supply from collieries to stations, is addressing the poor quality of coal and ensuring people with experience in running power stations are being brought back to help with plant operation, management and mentorship.

Ramaphosa adds that it is also on procuring emergency power from companies with existing generation capacity and working to secure imports from neighbouring countries.

Stage three

Eskom is implementing stage three rolling blackouts until four o’clock on Monday afternoon and thereafter it escalates to stage four until midnight.

Stage three will kick in after midnight every day. Eskom says this pattern will be repeated until Thursday.

The power utility has been struggling to keep the lights on, with its ageing coal-fired power generators.

Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha says, “Further updates will be issued on each day when significant changes occur. We are experiencing constraints from diesel suppliers. This is affecting the availability of bulk diesel at one of the sites which has a combined capacity of about 2000mw. While we expect delivery on Tuesday onwards, should this situation persists higher standards of load shedding will be required.”

Additional reporting by Phanuel Shuma.

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