Energy Analyst Chris Yelland has raised questions on why alternative energy supplies were not arranged for the venue, currently hosting the BRICS workshop, in the Eastern Cape.
The entire town of Port Alfred has been granted an exemption from rolling blackouts, amid a hotel hosting the Second BRICS Working Group workshop.
It comes as Eskom continues to impose Stage 6 power cuts nationwide, which is anticipated to persist throughout the week.
Yelland says Port Alfred’s exemption was granted by Eskom’s head office, following a request from the Department of Labour.
“What is most surprising about this is they have their own backup generators, but presumably the intention was that they should be exempted from load shedding but it is not that easy to do. All venues these days have standby generator facilities.”
“You would be crazy to organise a conference without standby generators at a time when SA is going without power for 6-8 hours a day. It gives the impression that they exempted this town so that many of the delegates – many of whom are not staying at the hotel – could enjoy the vibrant nightlife and restaurants and bars of Port Alfred, because not all of them are accommodated at the hotel,” adds Yelland.
Below is the full interview with Chris Yelland:
Meanwhile, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, says the BRICS bank has benefited South Africa in tackling its energy needs.
Pandor says the introduction of the BRICS New Development Bank has also been a relief to the bloc.
She took part in a roundtable discussion on the current geo-political environment, and South Africa’s role therein.
The video below is reporting more on the story: